Dorchester Community Food Co-op

Building a Healthy, Sustainable & Economically Viable Community

Location chosen for new Food Co-op

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It has been a LONG winter, but the Board has been busy moving the Food Co-op project forward–and we want to share a number of important developments:
We now have a location for the store! We have signed a Letter of Intent to occupy space in an innovative “green” building now being developed at 258 Washington St. in the Four Corners section of Dorchester. The 24,000 square foot building was recently purchased by Third Sector New England (TSNE) to be co-developed through an exciting joint venture with the Sustainability Guild. The Sustainability Guild is a community-driven social enterprise and resident network with a track record of high impact and holistic projects focused on creating community assets, connection, wellness and beauty. With this vision in mind, the Guild is leading the creation of a dynamic, 70,000+ sq. ft. destination for community-centered health and healing, innovation and social enterprise, as well as culture and learning. (We have partnered with the Sustainability Guild in the past–the Guild created and programmed  the “Community Hub” at the Topliff site and co-sponsored the Fresh Fridays Community Supported Cafe.)
Some of the planned initiatives that will be housed in the new complex include
  • a healthy food café
  • juice bar
  • modular event space
  • a beautiful open plan “mercado” filled with community entrepreneurs
  • healing and wellness spaces
  • co-work space and a small business incubator
  • mission-aligned/driven financial services and support
  • 6000 square feet of space for the Dorchester Community Food Co-op

The existing building sits on a one acre site that will be an urban food forest with education and stewardship activities to be based in the building. The Co-op will launch in the context of social, environmental and economic innovation based on community collaboration, ownership, health and prosperity. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to co-locate with businesses and organizations that will so powerfully complement the mission and values of the Co-op.

What happened to the Topliff site?
The DCFC spent over a year negotiating with two different developers to secure a lease for space in a new building to be built in the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood at the corner of Bowdoin and Topliff. Ultimately, we were not able to secure a lease at terms that were in alignment with our financial projections and allow for affordable prices for community members.

What happens next?

  • With a site for the co-op in hand, we are moving ahead with plans to develop the store product mix, affordability programs, and workforce. Funds from a USDA planning grant and the Cabot Family Charitable Trust have allowed us to increase our staffing to accelerate the planning process.
  • We are please to announce that we have hired Darnell Adams to come on board as a Project Manager. Current Project Manager Jenny Silverman will turn her focus to raising the capital we need to start the store. Lynn Murray will continue working on membership organizing and community engagement. Together, our staff, Board and members will be working together to build a store that is tailored to the needs (empowerment, ownership and accessibility to quality  products at affordable prices) of the Dorchester community.

Join the Co-op NOW and help us reach our goal. Look for the JOIN NOW column on the right hand side of the page.

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