Citizens Co-op, a community-owned and operated market, is opening its doors this week after three years of grassroots organizing.
To date, the Co-op has raised more than $275,000 from small, local investments within the community in order to open its store. The full-service market focuses on supplying local goods, organic produce, environmentally-friendly products, and a wide selection of natural foods, and follows a Buy Local First policy.
“The Co-op aims to create a dependable market for our local farmers and a more resilient local economy through its business practices,” said co-founder Gretchen McIntyre, who has served as an adjunct faculty for Santa Fe College’s Business Programs.
Citizens Co-op was one of the first members of SF’s Entrepreneur Incubator at the Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED).
“It’s especially gratifying to see an enterprise like this succeed with such strong grassroots support,” said Dug Jones, SF’s assistant vice president for economic development. “As one of our very first success stories from the earliest days of the Incubator’s operation, we are looking forward to supporting Citizen’s Co-op in the future as they continue to grow.”
Located at 435 S. Main St. in downtown Gainesville, the store will be open for business to members as of Tuesday, July 12. Store hours are: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday (closed Mondays).
Grand Opening Celebration
A Grand Opening Celebration is planned for Friday, july 15, featuring product specials and discounts for Co-op members, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by live music and a micro-brew tasting starting at 7 p.m. Area musicians playing at the Civic Media Center next door include Coffee Project, Lindsey Mills, Dikembe, and Sleeping Spiders.
While anyone can shop at the market, you can still become a member of the Co-op to receive specials and discounts, and participate in business development. Join online at www.citizensco-op.com, or fill out an application in the store. For more information, contact Gretchen McIntyre at 352-505-6575, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Gretchen McIntyre at 352-219-1562 (cell) or email@example.com
- Julie Garrett, SF media relations, for assistance facilitiating your story, 352-395-5430 or 352-870-2924 or firstname.lastname@example.org