Article

The Ideal store would be a great place for a food coop.

By John Ehlert
August 5, 2014

A small group of interested people have recently been meeting in the presently vacant Ideal Store to explore the possibility of establishing an area-wide food cooperative at that site. A coop requires meeting several essential needs; a supplier of salable items, a location where the items can be received, stored, and sold or distributed, and a sufficient number of members to provide the supplier with enough sales volume to justify the shipping to a particular site. A coop also needs enough volunteers to keep the whole operation working.

So far, the organizing committee has found a supplier with considerable promise. Azure Standard, a company organized to provide service to coops, has catalogs with 300 pages of items commonly found in coops. These include frozen, fresh and dried items, cheeses, and household goods…all kinds of products. These are offered in various quantities, from one or two to an entire sackful, making it possible to provide quantity discount prices on items wanted by multiple buyers.

The Ideal store would be a great place for a food coop. In addition to being accessible to Ideal Township and Breezy Point, the building itself presents many advantages for coop operations. A ramp near the rear of the building connects the driveway to a spacious room for sorting and packaging orders, a large refrigerated room for holding perishable items, a basement with storage space for store equipment and a door into what could be a natural root cellar. The sales area is equipped with both refrigerators, freezers, grocery shelves, and counters for demonstrations and checking out. Connected to the sales space there are rooms for a business office and a lavatory that has a toilet, a washbasin and a shower. The building is presently owned by Ron and Judy Kidder. They have generously offered the site, rent free, during the period when an association of interested people can be organized into an actual food cooperative.

The immediate need, then, is to get a list of neighbors who want to participate in a cooperative buying experience in their own neighborhood. People interested as buyers or volunteers may get the information they need by clicking here.

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