Way back in 2008, the first conversations were taking place around the organization that would eventually become the Kensington Community Food Co-op. Their mission is to "open a member-owned cooperative grocery store in the Kensington area," a la Mariposa or Weaver's Way. Over the years, they've been able to successfully assemble a board, establish by-laws, and recruit almost 400 members, despite not yet having that grocery store. But now it seems they're about to embark on the fulfillment of their mission.
According to Generosity, the co-op signed a lease for a commercial space about two weeks ago. The location of that retail space has remained a closely guarded secret, which will be revealed to the public at an event on May 4th at 2pm at Philadelphia Brewing Company. You can certainly try to figure out where the co-op will open, though we're thinking it will be on Frankford Avenue. Perhaps a newly renovated space that was supposed to hold a restaurant but the project fell through?
Or, you know, any of a couple dozen other possibilities on Frankford, Girard, or within the neighborhood.
The opening date has not yet been determined, but before the grocery store can open, there's still a good deal of fundraising to be done. A business plan should be finished next month, with financing efforts to follow. Along with commercial financing, the co-op will be asking individual members to make small loans to help build out the grocery as well. Definitely an interesting approach.
We're clearly very excited to see the co-op take off after so many years of planning. Once we learn of the location and get some more details, we'll be sure to fill in the blanks. We might just have to head over to the brewery on Sunday to get the news firsthand.