The Amherst Food Co-op will be a full-service, community- and worker-owned grocery store located close to downtown Amherst and on a bus line. The store will feature local, sustainably grown, organic and conventional produce, meats, and dairy products, as well as all the other things you’d expect to find in a grocery store — bulk foods, dry goods, frozen foods, etc. The Co-op will also carry a range of household and cleaning products.
The Co-op’s professional Market Study, completed in the fall of 2017, assumed a 12,000 sq. ft. store with 7,500 sq. feet of retail space and approximately 75 parking spaces. A store of this size would make shopping accessible and convenient and would be large enough to include a variety of grocery store departments, including produce, meat, dairy, a deli with prepared foods, and a hot bar with grab-and-go meals. The store will also offer frozen foods, a bakery, a small café area, and a beer and wine section.
A key feature of the Amherst Food Co-op will be an active community space where member-owners can come together to share information and ideas, working together toward common goals. The space will be available for everything from meetings to workshops and classes to community activism.
The Amherst Food Co-op will be owned collectively by its member-owners –everyone who joins the Co-op by purchasing a member share — and by the workers-owners — all the workers at the Co-op. This model of ownership is called a hybrid or a multi-stakeholder model. Four of the nine seats on the on the Board of Directors will be reserved for worker-owners which will give workers a strong voice in leadership and an increased sense of ownership.
The Amherst Food Co-op will be a vibrant community gathering space, bringing people from all our parts of our community together through food to support our local farmers and producers, strengthen our local economy, and build resilience in our community while nourishing our bodies, minds, and spirits.