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Dean of Students

Community run store to bring fresh, local produce to area

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Green Top Grocery is a co-op grocery store that is hoping to open soon, but needs the help of ISU to do so.

A co-operative, or co-op is an independent, democratic organization that is owned, operated, and financed by its owners.  Green Top Grocery is aiming to have 500 owners, and it currently has 350. If the business can get up to 500 owners, they will then vote on a location.

Alan Curtis, a student intern who has been working with Green Top Grocery, has learned a lot about the business as well as its mission.

“A co-operative will help build a sense of community, strengthen the local economy, support local farmers, create jobs, educate consumers on healthy eating, promote food justice, and usher in a new era of sustainable development,” Curtis said.

ISU students can help in a variety of ways through social media, marketing campaigns as well as bringing new ideas to the project.

As a student, Curtis has already highly benefited from the store.

“Green Top Grocery can serve as a laboratory for students to learn and practice marketable skills,” Curtis said. “They’ve allowed me to design my own internship experience and helped me attend local food conferences.”

The focus of Green Top Grocery is going to be to sell food from local farmers and artisans. The members and owners would help make the decisions of which farms they would buy from, and all of the other aspects that go into the store. This gives a new and democratic approach to the business.

The co-op grocery store is being seen as a major benefit for the community.

“For every dollar spent at a food co-op, 38 cents is reinvested in the local economy compared to the 24 cents at conventional grocers,” Curtis said.

Photo courtesy of Green Top Grocery Facebook page The Common Ground Food co-op in Urbana is a good example of what the Bloomington-Normal Green Top Grocery strives to become once construction begins. All co-op grocery stores share the same mantra that anyone can shop, and anyone can join.

Photo courtesy of Green Top Grocery Facebook page
The Common Ground Food co-op in Urbana is a good example of what the Bloomington-Normal Green Top Grocery strives to become once construction begins. All co-op grocery stores share the same mantra that anyone can shop, and anyone can join.

Those involved in Green Top Grocery have high hopes for the business and visions for the location.

“The ideal location would be in an under-served area that has public transit and bike access, and be close to the student population,” Curtis said.

The plan is to have about 6,000 square feet of retail space, along with additional space for office, storage and community space. They are also hoping to add a teaching kitchen and community meeting space.

Green Top Grocery is a rising success and needs the help of the ISU community to launch. They have high hopes for the future plans. The goal is to not only make Green Top Grocery a local food hub, but they also hope to market to schools, restaurants and retailers.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Green Top Grocery you can check out their website at greentopgrocery.com and you can like their Facebook page.

You can also apply to be a Green Top Grocery owner, or look into internship opportunities. They are always looking for more people to share their information, and with the help of the community Green Top Grocery will succeed.

One Response

  1. Melanie Shellito

    Kudos to the Vidette for covering this story and spreading the word about this amazing community asset that’s under development! Also important to know is that the 2nd Annual Owners’ meeting is scheduled for May 18, so anyone who is an owner before then can participate in the upcoming voting, and other democratic aspects that make a co-op really unique. I hope readers of this story check out the website and decide to become owners of this amazing venture.

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