In the more than 35 years Mariposa Food Co-op’s shopper-owned grocery store has operated out of a tiny storefront at 4726 Baltimore Avenue, it has grown from a weekly buying club of a few dozen people to a storefront open seven days a week and serving more than 700 households. Two years ago, lack of space forced us to start a waiting list for new members. Supported by strong member interest in a larger space, indicated in a member survey and recommendations from the Wharton Small Business Development Center, Mariposa began seeking a larger building that would enable us to continue to build cooperative economic democracy and improve access to healthy, local, sustainable food in West Philadelphia.
In December, Mariposa signed an agreement of sale for Beulah Tabernacle’s former bank building at 4824 Baltimore. This site, almost five times the size of our current one, will enable us to:
- accept every household now on the waiting list
actively recruit new members for the first time in our history
expand guest shopping for non-members.
place larger orders and operate more efficiently, allowing lower prices and reduced or eliminated member work requirements
host community gatherings, workshops, classes and seminars related to our mission
While part of the cost of the move will come from the sale of our current building, from current members, and from grants, we will still have to finance many of the costs. While increased sales will be more than enough to pay back our debt, the more community support we receive, the sooner we’ll be able to proceed with the move. For more information on how to make a loan or donation, please contact our Financial Manager, Dan Ohlemiller, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-729-2121.
Convener, Mariposa Food Co-op