While pulling junk out of my pockets the other day, I found a flier for a co-op grocery some people are trying to start called the Denver Cooperative Market. It seems like one of those member-owned, earth-lovin' groceries could fly in Denver now that all the hippies are migrating here from Boulder. (I blame the cheaper rents and the Vine Street Pub.)
I contacted one of the organizers, David Blessing, who says they're looking at a storefront space near 26th and Welton streets in Five Points for the market. The produce will be mostly organic, of course, and there will be no meats sold. The plan is to build up a membership of 2,000 to cover the initial costs of opening and operating the store, which Blessing also hopes will include a cafe and a meeting space.
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The vision for the place is not unlike that of the old Boulder Co-op Market, which had to shut its doors in 2007 because of crushing debt. That's something Blessing definitely hopes to avoid.
"We plan to start out small and free of debt," he says. "We hope to open as soon as possible, and that depends on the amount of input we get from the community."
An annual membership for an individual is $35, with a one-time joining fee of $35. So far the organizers have about sixty members in their online Buying Club, but Blessing is confident that more folks will sign up in the summer months as their awareness campaign kicks into gear.
"A co-op is a community effort and not the work of one or two people," he explains. "We invite the participation of any and all who would like to further the effort."