Thursday, March 23, 2006

food co-op in the Smoky Hollow

A few years ago the good food co-op store on Pyatt Street on the south side closed. Perhaps there is another opportunity to have this type of store in the Smoky Hollow, part of which is being recreated as a mixed-use neighborhood by the Wick Neighbors. A store that provides fresh and/or organic vegetables, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, and community information might work in this location.

Specific reasons that a co-op might succeed in the Smoky Hollow include the following:

  • Proximity to crunchy individuals like students and professors who may frequent such a place
  • Potential customer base due to no other grocery store in the downtown area
  • Specialized co-op products may attract not just those in the neighborhood, but others in the region
  • Smaller building with no obtrusive surface parking may fit ideals of New Urbanism
  • Unique offerings like cooking classes, yoga instruction, and hot vegetable cafeteria may be an added draw
  • Gives the appearance to be hip and progressive to attract creative types
So how do we get one started?


Anonymous said...

To get it started you really need someone or a group of people who are interested in running the store and finding the produce etc. Even though it is a co-op you need people willing to run the business. If a group of students even starte dit as a project it could start small and eventually grow as interest developed. There is really no where around there to get groceries and with the new development and people moving into the area it would probably do well to have something where someone could at least buy Milk, eggs, bread, and some fresh fruits and vegies.
One of the biggest problems though, it is more expensive to go to a co-op then to Sparkle or Giant Eagle for groceries. Co-ops do well in areas where people do not care about cost but about organic produce and home grown items. At least that has been my experience with various co-ops. I could be wrong.

Brian said...

You might want to contact Common Wealth Inc at 330-744-2667 located at 1221 Elm Ave for some ideas and possible technical assistance to create such a cooperative.