To mark the recent start of construction on our future home in the South Wedge, we held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, December 7. We held the event to make two important announcements.
The 2016 Owner Loan Drive Total
The first was made by Jim DeLuca, General Manager of Abundance Food Co-op, when he announced the total number of funds raised through the 2016 Owner Loan Drive. Totaling $526,400, it is a key component of our funding for the relocation project.
Grand Opening Date
The second announcement was the date for our grand opening at 571 South Avenue: Earth Day 2017 (April 22, 2017).
Recognition & Community
The ceremony was also an opportunity for key stakeholders in the project to share a few words.
Katie Malarkey, Co-president of the Abundance Food Co-op Board of Directors, introduced speakers and represented the Board. Barb Van Kerkhove, a longtime co-op owner and a resident of the South Wedge neighborhood, spoke about the value the new store will have for the wider community as a co-operative business.
The project’s lead architect, Joe Kosiorek of SWBR Architects, offered highlights of the new store’s design. Lydia Birr of the Monroe County Economic Development office reaffirmed the County’s support of our co-op and our move. The County recently awarded the co-op a sales tax exemption worth $86,800.
The Mayor of Rochester was slated to speak last, but a last minute obligation kept her from attending. In her place, Matthew McCarthy of the City of Rochester Business Development office spoke. He expressed the City’s enthusiasm for Abundance, especially as it considers a worker co-op program to revitalize the local economy. (We co-organized an educational workshop in November to create ground-level enthusiasm for the initiative. Read about it here.)
After a series of unexpected delays, we are very excited to be able to move ahead with a firm timeline for the opening of our new store. We hope you are, too! Stay tuned for more updates soon!