Access to healthy food is a human right.
In 2015 we came together with a mission a community-owned grocery store.
A group of food justice advocates began exploring the possibility of a cooperative grocery to serve Louisville, Kentucky’s urban neighborhoods. What started as a shared belief turned into a mission to open a community-owned grocery store, through a cooperative business model.
“We believe a community’s self-reliance is essential to an equitable food system and that our community grocery should be a place where everyone feels welcome, owner and non-owner alike.”
SINCE THEN WE HAVE BEEN HARD AT WORK
We brought people together at community meetings and events, while collecting and analyzing data about people’s shopping habits. We researched cooperative grocery stores in cities similar to Louisville, and we raised seed funding to get us started.
Then, in 2017, we incorporated a non-profit, Louisville Association for Community Economics to foster the growth of community-owned initiatives in Louisville. LACE’s first project, the Louisville Community Grocery, was incorporated as a Limited Cooperative Association in 2019.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
We have a business plan and preliminary pro forma for the store and are working toward acquiring a site.
With the help of community members, the U of L’s School of Business, and neighborhood organizations, we identified dozens of potential store sites. In addition, a market research firm conducted extensive research on seven of these sites, narrowing our acquisition focus.
As we work toward site acquisition, we lay the groundwork for a capital campaign to build the store. And with the assistance of consultants with years of experience in cooperative grocery start-ups, we have started the preliminary planning for the store design.
We continue to educate our neighbors about the need for a cooperative grocery and bring healthy food options to areas with limited access via the Deli-UP! Project and our Pop-Up shops.