Northside Food Co-Op working to get community feedback for new grocery store

Northside Food Co-Op working to get community feedback for new grocery store
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 11:19 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Northside Food Co-Op has worked with many partner groups to bring a grocery store to the Northside of Wilmington.

The group called Seven Roots has done projects like these all over the country.

“So, figuring out what that mix is going to be, what is this gonna look like and how can we balance, affordable prices with great wages, and all of those things that we want to do to create the full community impact that the co-op and the county are looking for,” Heather Lazickas with Seven Roots said.

The process is at a place now where fundraising is at the top of the list.

“Right now, in terms of finances, we’re working on a capital plan. So that’s a big, big piece of it. We know the county’s investing significantly in getting the building there, and the Co-Ops going to be responsible for startup expenses,” Lazickas said.

The Co-Op will get help from county commissioners with some expenses. The board is now planning to approve more than $2,000,000 to help with design and capital costs.

Since the public will play a role in whether the store succeeds, designers are asking what the Northside wants.

“We’ve been doing community dinners; we’ve been doing our farmers markets as ways to engage with our community before the grocery store happens. So people feel connected, people get to taste local food before the store opens,” Cierra Washington with the Northside Food Co-Op said.

With many moving parts still involved in the process, there’s not an exact timeline for when the store may open. Seven Roots said other projects like this one have taken anywhere from eight to ten years.

But neighbors are looking forward to the day they have a better option for fresh, healthy food close to home.

There will be a community input session at Frankie’s Outdoor Market on Saturday morning at the Northside Food Co-Op.

For more information, click here.