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Press Release – People’s Food Co-Op Is Moving

February 16, 2010

From a press release….

CITY OF KALAMAZOO PARTNERS WITH PEOPLE’S FOOD CO-OP EXPANSION

Kalamazoo, Mich. – People’s Food Co-op and the City of Kalamazoo’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority are currently working out the details on the relocation and expansion of People’s 40-year old natural grocery business.

The new site, located at 507 Harrison Street, is a brownfield site in River’s Edge, a targeted area of redevelopment just northeast of downtown where the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has been focusing its efforts. People’s Food Co-op will complete a block which already contains two brownfield projects – MacKenzies’ Bakery and One Way Products.

The $1.7 million project includes construction of a 6,000 square foot building and the creation of at least six additional part-time jobs. The move will allow People’s Food Co-op to increase its retail operations to four times their current size. This increased space will provide room for a much-expanded prepared foods department with limited seating, the addition of a fresh meat section, and expanded local and organic produce, grocery, bulk foods, frozen, and refrigerated offerings. 

People’s Food Co-op is a community-owned business, with over 750 individuals and families owning a share of the business and receiving discounts and rebates as a return on that investment. To be successful with this project, People’s is looking to raise over $450,000 in loans and equity from owner-members.

“We are so excited to be able to offer a way for the community to invest in good food, in local farming, and in our own economic success” says Chris Dilley, General Manager of People’s. By expanding their storefront, People’s expects to increase the amount it purchases from local farms and processors ($100,000 in 2009) and to expand on existing programs, including the relocation of the 100-Mile Farmers Market to the new site.

Another innovative aspect of the project is the inclusion of 1,400 square feet of space to be leased to Fair Food Matters’ Can-Do Kitchen, a food business incubator which will expand their support of local entrepreneurs in the creation of unique products for resale

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