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Echo Journal News: Ideal Green Market Co-op store closing March 9

Cooperative in Ideal Township to continue to operate in other ways.

By Travis G. Grimler 3/6/2024
IDEAL TOWNSHIP -- The Ideal Green Market Cooperative will close its doors at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9.

The co-op store next to the Old Milwaukee Club in Ideal Corners opened in 2017. The co-op board made the difficult decision to close the store at a Feb. 26 board meeting.

"Despite a long tenure and efforts made by the board and management, the store has not been financially viable. The board does not take this decision lightly," a news release said.

Jonathan Grothe, Ideal Green Market board chair, said by phone that the market had been open since 2017. During that time they have been paying overhead costs, including for bookkeeping, heat and electricity, rent and personnel in the form of a manager and cashiers.

"We're sad the store is closing, but financially, last year was the worst year in three years," Grothe said. "We dropped substantially below what our operating costs are. The store is just not financially viable at this time."

There was a big drop from 2022 to 2023, amounting to a 28% drop in income, around $90,000.

The market is attempting to sell its remaining product inventory before the March 9 closing.

"We're trying to kind of get something out to let people know the store is closing so they can come in and buy everything they can," Grothe said. "They can help lower our inventory and help us pay some debts."

Cash and check sales are preferred. The market may not be able to process credit card sales.

This does not mark the end of the Ideal Green Market Cooperative organization. The group has ongoing missions, including continuing hosting farmers markets and a community garden that benefits area food shelves.

The board is also open to eventually reopening the store, if a feasible means of making a profit can be developed.

Ideal Green Market Co-op, a member-owned food co-op in Ideal Township, has been serving the community since 2015.

"Thank you to all who supported the mission of the co-op, volunteers and the people it employed through the years," the news release said.

 

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