A group trying to launch a cooperative grocery in Columbus have dealt with several changes in the last few months — a new location, a new name and a reshuffled leadership.
Negotiating the purchase of land on which to build the grocery, attracting more members and launching another member loan drive to generate funds for the project are the present and future challenges.
The Columbus Food Co-op, formerly known as the Columbus Co-operative Grocery and Market, wants to build its grocery on a vacant lot next to the Jackson Place townhouses, which are at 1010 Jackson St., said SaraBeth Drybread, the co-op’s community outreach coordinator.
That location had been considered previously, but Columbus Food Co-op instead signed a letter of intent to lease a building at 315 Sixth St., behind Viewpoint Books, from Cummins Inc.
The goal had been to open in May 2012, but that was changed to begin construction this summer.
However, adequate parking for the grocery became a problem, Drybread said. Cummins is building a parking garage opposite that location. Cummins also didn’t want to release long-term ownership of the building, said Carla Barrett, the co-op’s board president.
In June, the Columbus Food Co-op decided to look for another location, Drybread said, and revisited the Jackson Street lot, between Volunteers in Medicine and Jackson Place. The property is owned by Jackson Place LLC, of which former Columbus Food Co-op board president Michael Greven is a partner.
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