Business in downtown Barre survived and then thrived after the Big Dig. Some locals though are looking to grow something bigger on Main Street.
“Maybe there's the space for a grocery store,” Chris Riddell said.
Riddell is board president of Granite City Grocery. It’s a movement to build a co-op among the retail stores. Thursday morning the group met at the Quarry Grill & Tavern in Barre to discuss its progress.
There hasn't been a grocery store on Main Street since 2001.
“All indicators are a grocery store in downtown would be a viable option,” Riddell said.
More than 400 people have already paid the $200 necessary to become a co-op owner. They're hoping for 600 by June, 800 by this fall and even more to call it a success.
“We're going to need 1200 owners at the day that we open the doors,” Riddell said.
That date hasn't been picked nor has a location for the store. The new City Place building was the original choice but since then the board hired a consulting team to consider other options.
“We're not really closing the door on anything,” Riddell said.
Before the store opens open they need more money and progress has slowed. The group started offering ownership last July. 400 members bought in quickly but there's been little activity since.
“It's at that point that you kind of take a step back regroup, get more volunteers,” member Emily Kaminsky said.
To learn more about Granite City Grocery visit their website.