Shoppers looking for local will soon have another option when it comes to picking up food. A group is planning to put a new grocery store in historic Valley Junction. But, this one is little different.
Jeremy Jessem says, “Gibson and I are members.” Jessem and Gibson, 6, will soon be part owners of a new grocery store. He says, “We’re trying to join a grassroots business from the ground-up”
They’re two of more than 300 people already signed up to be member/owners of the Tall Grass Grocery Coop in Valley Junction. Christine McNunn says the co-op will originally set up shop inside her store, the Fair World Gallery. They’ll sell locally grown food.
Anyone will be able shop, but for $100, interested consumers can become members to share in the success. Founding Committee Member Carlyn Crowe says, “You help actually grow the co-op and help decide what products will be sold in the store, how we’ll operate and how quickly we’ll grow, whether we’ll move.”
She says they plan to open Tall Grass Grocery in September inside Fair World Gallery, but they say it will be a temporary location. McNunn says, “It’s definitely not permanent. It’s a way though that Tall Grass, with less money, can kind of test the market to see if it’s going to be a fit, and then we plan on moving to another location.”
Crowe and McNunn say interest is higher than originally expected, and they say the growth of area farmers’ markets in the past few years is proof there is a need for more places to get local food. Crowe says, “We want to capitalize on that and try to bring a lot of the products to a store where people can come regularly and buy them, and the idea of a co-op really brings people together in community.”