Jeremiah Knupp -- May 17th, 2011
It was a strange scene for a Saturday morning at a grocery store. The shelves were bare and there were no aisles for the small crowd to mill through. No one was being rung up at a cash register. But the Friendly City Food Co-op, which opened its doors to showcase its progress to the community, hopes that this will be one of the last quiet Saturdays at its location on the corner of the Wolfe and Mason Streets before the store officially opens for business in June.
Plans to establish a “consumer owned, democratically run” (according to the FCFC mission statement) food store in Harrisonburg have been nearly five years in the making. Currently 1,199 people have signed up for $200 memberships, which give them part ownership in the store and a voice in how things are run. The store, which is in the same location that formerly housed Mick-or-Mack grocery, will feature fresh and frozen foods, natural health and cleaning products, many sourced locally, which will be open to both members and non-members. The plans are for the FCFC store to open the first weekend of June with a grand opening on July 9.