SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The Springfield Food Co-op is planning to move its store from River Street, in the same building as Joe’s Discount Beverages, to Main Street in downtown Springfield. The consumer-owned nonprofit cooperative corporation has an agreement to purchase the People’s United Bank building effective in November. The bank will continue to maintain its branch office in its current space, including drive-through tellers and walk-up ATM.
The co-op will be doubling its retail space, increasing its sales of local products, especially produce, bulk items, and, for the first time, beer and wine. The space will also include a sit-down cafe, which will be a great addition to downtown life. According to its general manager Neomi Lauritsen, “An important aspect of the project – to both the co-op and the community – is its role in the revitalization of downtown Springfield.”
To fund the project, estimated to cost approximately $1.5 million, the co-op is offering shares of preferred stock to its members, which are projected to pay dividends of 2 to 3.5% annually, and is also seeking donations and grants from individuals and businesses in the community. It is also positioned to accept larger investments such as Self Directed IRA funds, allowing investors to utilize a portion of their personal IRAs to support the project.
One does not need to be a member to shop at the co-op, although its 2,200 member-owners receive special in-store discounts and yearly patronage dividends.
The co-op began as a buying club in 1974 and opened a store on Chester Road in Springfield in 1992. It has been in its current location since 2006. The People’s United Bank building was built in the 1960s as an A&P grocery store.
For more information on the co-op or its relocation project, stop by the store or contact Lauritsen at email@example.com or 802-885-3361.