Creekside Co-op: The Newest Member of the Family
Food Cooperatives (Co-ops) are popping up everywhere in Philly but this is the first co-op that I have heard of that has successfully started in the Phila Suburbs (but it’s not surprising that this co-op relied on a lot of in-kind planning support from the successful Weaver’s Way Co-op in northwest Philly). Creekside Co-op opened in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Cheltenham last month after five years of planning led by a small group of dedicated community members. The community banned together in 2007 and set out to bring cooperative buying power, a community-owned grocery store and more fair trade, organic, vegetarian, humane, and/or gluten-free food options to their neighborhood. The project is made even better by the fact that it is bringing back a small neighborhood shopping center that had been slowly declining since the former anchor tenant (Ashbourne Market) closed their doors in 2002. An annual household contribution of $50 gets you 5% off purchases (on certain days of the month) and other great benefits such as patronage rebates and member-only events and trainings although the store is open to the public every day 8 am to 8 pm.
Although they are still working out some kinks, some of which could only be discovered once the store was up and running, including concerns regarding pedestrian safety in front of the store, this colorful co-op is already going strong.