Since incorporating in 2012, Granite City Grocery, a start-up food co-op led by a dedicated all-volunteer Board of Directors, has been hard at work building community interest and attracting new members. They also have been reviewing possible sites for the community-owned grocery store in downtown Barre.
Up until 2000, when the Grand Union closed, Barre City had always had a downtown grocery that provided fresh produce, meats and affordable packaged goods, as well as a center for community life and social activity.
The results of a community survey, commissioned by The Barre Partnership as part of a 2004 market study, pointed to the desire for a downtown food store. After the City acquired the former Brooks Drug building in 2009, the redevelopment plans for what would become City Place did not include a privately-owned grocery as hoped. A core group of Barre residents then came together in 2012 to explore the feasibility of starting a co-operatively owned grocery store.
No one ever expected that opening a downtown grocery would be an easy task, but Granite City Grocery’s dedicated Board of Directors has been working hard to set the ground work. They raised funds for a market and feasibility study from grants and community contributions, have built the membership to more than 600 owner-members, and have engaged a realtor, engineer and architect to review potential sites.
Some of the Directors' terms will expire in June, creating opportunities for interested members to become involved in carrying forward the co-op’s mission to bring healthy, affordable food to the Greater Barre community.
There is a particular need for candidates with experience in one or more of the following areas: working with the cooperative business model; fundraising; project management; retail grocery; hiring a general manager, executive director or similar position; and communications or public relations.
If you are interested in lending your skills, time and enthusiasm to help the GCG Board move forward with its mission to bring a community-owned grocery store to downtown Barre, please find an application packet with details at granitecitygrocery.coop/become_a_board_member.
The submission deadline is Monday, May 16. Applications must be emailed to Chris Riddell at firstname.lastname@example.org by 11 PM. For more info call 802-622-1555. Board members will be voted on at the cooperative’s June meeting.