Co-op One Step Closer to Reality in Barre City

By Alex Rose

Published 07/31 2014 10:30PM

Updated 07/31 2014 11:32PM

Barre City, Vt.- "It is the largest municipality in the state that doesn't have a downtown grocery," said Granite City Grocery Board member Phil Cecchini.

Granite City Grocery wants to change that. They've been working on bringing a Co-op to Barre City for two years, and Thursday night they applied for a community development planning grant.

"We want the grocery to be here, you know not just for a year and a half, not just for 18 months, we want it to be here long term," Cecchini said.

There are steps to get where they need to be.

Their timeline now is based on members, the more members that buy into the project, the further along they can go.

As of Thursday night's hearing they have 500.

If they reach their next benchmark and receive the $15,000 grant, they can bring in professionals to draw up a business plan.

When this project started about two years ago, there was a lot of talk about putting the new Co-op in Barre City place, but Granite City Grocery doesn't want to reveal its new location until they have a concrete business plan.

“We can't nail down a location or even talk publicly about a location until we know about financing, that'd be irresponsible."

But what does this mean for local grocers?

“No, not concerned,” said Owner of Central Market Mick Kerin when asked if he was worried that a Co-op was coming to town. “I've had competition before."

Kerin has worked in the business his whole life, and knows he can offer things a Co-op can't.

“We've been here forever, you know if somebody needs something from a nice steak or a can of baking powder, I've got just about anything," Kerin said.

He serves a specific niche in the market.

It costs $200 to become a member in the new Co-op. You can cover this cost through a payment plan on their website:

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