A long-awaited grocery store from the New Orleans Food Cooperative is slated to open next week in the Faubourg Marigny.
Co-Op general manager Lori Burge confirms that the group plans to open for business on Monday, Oct. 10. The group is holding volunteer “stocking parties” to fill the shelves this week, she says.
The store will be inside the Healing Center, the recently redeveloped, multi-purpose center inside the former Universal Furniture building at 2372 St. Claude Ave. The grocery is located on the N. Rampart Street side of the Healing Center complex.
The Co-Op describes its store as a “mission-driven, community-owned grocery store,” and it will include fresh produce, frozen and bulk products, meat and dairy, fresh breads and other grocery staples.
The Food Co-Op has been working on plans for a community-owned store for healthy and sustainably-produced foods for years. Meetings for the Co-Op first got underway back in 2002 and soon members started a monthly buying club. By 2005, the group was working on plans to open a 2,300 square foot store at 527 Elysian Fields Avenue, inside the building that is now Michalopoulos Studio. Hurricane Katrina dashed those plans, however, and eventually the store at the Healing Center began to take shape.
The store will be open to the public, and those who join the Food Co-Op as members can claim ownership of it. Membership costs $100 and allows members to participate in Co-Op board elections, run for positions on the board and vote on other issues.
While the start of operations is expected next week, the Food Co-Op is planning a grand opening celebration in a month. The party is scheduled for Nov. 12, from noon to 6 p.m., with live music, product samples and a meet and greet with farmers and other local food producers.
New Orleans Food Cooperative
2372 St. Claude Ave., 565-6632