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Macomb Food Co-op Takes its Next Step

The Macomb Food Cooperative began as an idea among a small group of people in 2009.  A couple years later it incorporated, and in April, 2014 it started operating the Macomb Online Market.  Now the co-op is opening a brick and mortar store that will feature mostly local products.

“One of the great things is that it really is an investment within our community,” said Sally Huffer of the emphasis on local goods. Huffer is one of the store’s two employees.

The store will also offer some non-local products, most of which will either be fair trade or organic items.

Credit Rich Egger
The Macomb Food Cooperative is operating its store out of this building that it rents from the McDonough Telephone Cooperative.

The store is at the corner of West Washington Street and South McArthur Street near downtown Macomb.  Its hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and 9:00 a.m. – Noon, Saturday.  It’s open to the general public.

The on-line market, on the other hand, can be used by non-owners only up to four times before they’re asked to buy at least one share in the co-op.  The on-line market and the store will offer a few of the same items, but for the most part their products will be different.

“In the on-line market we tend to have produce, local meats, local yogurt, things of that nature,” said Gordon Rands, vice chair of the co-op board.

“In the store we have more staples. We have a large bulk grain and bean section, we have fair trade coffee, fair trade chocolate. We have bulk teas and bulk herbs and spices that you can buy however much you want of.”

He said some of the products in the store cannot be found at any other shop in town.

Rands said the co-op now has a shade more than 400 owners – and there is room for more.

“We want to continue to expand our owner base so that we can be prepared to expand as we need to,” he said.

The food co-op will celebrate the opening of the store by hosting a series of events this week:

Tuesday, April 12

11:30 a.m. Ribbon cutting with owners and Macomb Chamber of Commerce
11:00 a.m.  - 12:30 p.m. Live music with Dan Eilers
11:00 a.m.  - 1:30 p.m. Meet Thistle Creek Orchard and sample food - Local Aronia-blackberry yogurt, salsa, Aronia pepper jam, and more

Wednesday, April 13

10:00 a.m. Breakfast waffles with Gordon and Pam Rands, and sausage from Raised Right Farms.
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Live music with Bill Maakastad and Jean Davenport

Thursday, April 14

10 :00 a.m. Samples of fair trade & organic coffee and tea

12:00 p.m.  – 1:00 p.m. Live music with the Eastenders - Ron Morrow, Jean & Brian Davenport
2:00 p.m. Samples of freshly popped local popcorn with various spices and flavors

Friday, April 15

10:00 a.m. Breakfast waffles with Gordon and Pam Rands, and sausage from Raised Right Farms.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Live music with Dan Clark

Saturday, April 16

10:00 a.m. - Noon  Petting zoo featuring alpacas, puppies, baby chicks and more
10:00 a.m. Breakfast waffles with Gordon and Pam Rands, and sausage from Raised Right Farms.
10:00 a.m. - 10:45 p.m. Live music with John Lane

10:45 a.m. - Noon Yoga and strength training with Free Range Yoga

Rich is TSPR's News Director.