After four years of fundraising initiatives, Creekside Co-op has raised the $4 million needed to open a local grocery store in the old Ashbourne Market in Elkins Park.
This victory came with much support from community members, investors and Weavers Way staff members Jonathan McGoran, Glenn Bergman and John Roesser who provided support, advice and expertise.
McGoran, communications director at Weavers Way, said supporting the Elkins Park co-op was important because of the impact co-ops have on their surrounding communities.
“I think that co-ops can be really important in revitalizing retail areas. In part, because they are owned by the people who live there so it is not going to up and leave for greener pastures,” said McGoran. “A co-op is by definition committed to the community where it exists.”
McGoran said there are also many intangible benefits of co-ops such as the community’s access to healthier foods, outlet for local vendors and a meeting place for community members.
Like Weavers Way, Creekside Co-op will be a full-service grocery store that focuses on sustainable food production by selling organic and whole foods. It will also include locally grown produce that will be provided by vendors from their farmer’s market.
“Certainly in terms of product mix, Weaver’s Way not only has its own farm, but it also sources a lot from local farms and we admire that and that is something we want to try to do as well,” said Dan Reynolds, president of the board of directors. “Weavers Way also places an emphasis on fair compensation for its employees and we want to do that as well.”
The grocery store will also include a meat and bulk section with organic brown rice and whole wheat spaghetti.
It is expected to open in September 2012. For more information, visit www.creekside.coop.