Dorchester Community Food Co-op

Building a Healthy, Sustainable & Economically Viable Community

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Location chosen for new Food Co-op

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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Feb 27: Join us at our Winter Farmers’ Market for a Seafood Festival!

WHAT: Celebrate the Fruits of Our Ocean at the Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market  

WHEN: Friday, February 27, 2015

TIME: 4:00PM – 7:00PM

Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market: Codman Square Great Hall, 6 Norfolk St, Dorchester, MA 02124  

COST: Free 

AGES: All Ages Welcome! 

Join the Dorchester Community Food Coop at their Winter Farmers’ Market for a Seafood Festival! Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness through its Boston Farmers Market program and partners: Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and Health Care Without Harm will Celebrate the Fruits of Our Ocean at the Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market. At this event, Fulani Haynes of Fulani’s Kitchen, a Chef, educator, musician, gardener, and grandmother and Nicola Williams, a serial foodie, passionate gardner and local food movement leader will cook Caribbean island style “Fish Tea” using local day boat freshly caught fish from Reds’ Best.  Free tastings for up to 40 attendees will be offered at the market for those who register at the market for the tasting. The cooking will be precluded by a farmers market fresh salad demo by Fulani Haynes and the Seafood Demo will be followed by a fish filet demo by seafood vendor Red’s Best. 

There will be something for the whole family, including interactive children’s activities. State Representative Russell Holmes will return to emcee the seafood festival. You will discover the seasonality of fresh, local seafood available in New England. This family-friendly event is complete with special activities just for children.

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Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market in full swing on Fridays!

Every Friday from now through March 27, 3-7 pm at the Great Hall in Codman Square, (6 Norfolk St)
Our market is in full operation, with beautiful displays of produce, fish, cheese, meat, baked goods, spices, chutney, honey and more! Stop in to eat a light dinner while you shop with prepared food options.

The last Friday of each month we will bring Fresh Fridays, our popular summer program, to the Winter Market–stay tuned for details.

So glad to have our returning vendors along with a variety of new vendors!

kids at the market

lyndigo spice at the market  fish at the market

big a farm

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Winter Farmers’ Market Kickoff on Jan 9–NOW ON FRIDAYS!

Only 2 weeks until the Dorchester Winter Farmers’ Market 2015 Kickoff!
Friday January 9, 3-7 pm at the Great Hall in Codman Square, (6 Norfolk St)
The Winter Farmers’ Market will run every Friday from 3-7 pm.   January 9 – March 27

Though the holiday season is in full swing, it is not stopping us from preparing a wonderful Winter Market Kickoff.  We will have children’s activities, food demos, visiting food trucks and special activities over the course of the season. Now on Fridays so you will be able to stock up for the weekend and the week ahead.

The last Friday of each month we will bring Fresh Fridays, our popular summer program, to the Winter Market–stay tuned for details.

So glad to have our returning vendors along with a variety of new vendors!


Please spread the word to make our 2015 season a success!

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Volunteer Opportunities with the Dorchester Community Food Co-op

We have lots to do this summer–and we know that many of you are looking for opportunities to get involved in the co-op. Volunteering is a great way to meet your neighbors, and help us build our community owned co-op market. Years from now you will take great pride in saying “I helped build this” Here is how you can help this summer and beyond

Fresh Fridays
We are gearing up for our summer Community Supported Cafe during the month of August. Fresh Fridays will take place August 1, August 8, August 15 and August 22. Click HERE to learn more about the 2014 season of Fresh Fridays. 

For each week we need:

1 or 2 people (with vehicles) to shop for Fresh Fridays food–involves going to local markets and picking up some donated produce at local farms in Dorchester and Milton. Shopping will require some daytime availability during the week before the Friday event. Detailed shopping lists and funds for shopping will be provided.

1 person who can pick up 6 high top tables at Rent-all in Dorchester on Friday afternoon and return them on Saturday morning. These will fit in a regular size car (not a Cooper mini!)

8 people to help staff each event–4 to set up and serve from 5-7pm, and 4 to serve and clean up from 6:30-8:30 pm

1 person to take home the tablecloths from Fresh Fridays and wash them (requires a washer and dryer)

If you would like to help do any of these for one week or more, please send an email to and indicate which week and which task you would like to help with.

General Co-op Volunteers

Outreach: Volunteers who can staff co-op information tables at the Ashmont Farmers Market on Friday afternoons, the Codman Square Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, and the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market on late Thursday afternoons. We will also be tabling at the Circle the City event on Blue Hill Ave on September 28, and other public events during the summer and fall. Tabling is a great way of letting people know about the co-op. There will be a training session for outreach volunteers in July. Interested? Send an email to

Graphic designer who can help design leaflets and fliers for co-op events
More volunteer opportunities will be posted in future updates!

The development of the Dorchester Community Food Co-op has been made possible by the generous support of the Boston Impact Initiative, Boston Public Health Commission, Cabot Foundation, Cooperative Fund of New England, Food Coop Initiative, Green Dorchester, Kendall Foundation, Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives, Millennium Ten Initiative, New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, the Boston Foundation, Trefler Foundation, Vela Foundation, and residents, businesses and organizations throughout Dorchester and beyond.

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Puppet Making for the Dorchester Day Parade

This Saturday May 17
Come Help Make Giant Veggie Puppets for the
Dorchester Day Parade

This year Co-op members will march with giant vegetable puppets in the Dorchester Day Parade. Come help make the puppets–adults and kids alike! No experience necessary.
If the weather is nice–we will be making puppets at the Ashmont Hill Yard sale from 12-2pm at the corner of Harley and Roslin Sts
If it is raining: Puppet making will be at the ADSL Field House at Town Field in Fields Corner (1565 Dorchester Ave) from 1:30-3:30
Call 617-272-5917 if you are not sure where we are!

June 1
March with the  Food Co-op in
the Dorchester Day Parade

Information about where to meet will come. Interested in marching with us? send email to

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It takes a neighborhood to build a co-op!

We have come to the end of our wonderful Winter Farmer’s Market!  Thank you all for supporting season three of this local initiative!  As we move into spring and our summer programming, we are excited about continuing the work of building our membership. As we all know, our growing membership is the evidence to our funders and building partners that this project has community support. 

To this end, we are excited to announce the “It Takes a Neighborhood to Build a Co-op” Spring Membership Drive!   From April 1 until Dorchester Day in June, we are asking each member to recruit one member (or more) into the Co-op.  Once you do this, you and the person you recruit will both  be entered into a raffle to win exciting prizes!  Currently we have 342 member households. Help us reach 500 by June!  Together, we can do this!

Not a member yet? If you join now you will also be entered in the membership raffle. Click HERE for more details about the co-op. To join on line–just look for the Join Now column on the right hand side of this page!

A sampling of raffle prizes include gift certificates to:

  • The Blarney Stone Restaurant
  • Sea Breeze Mexican Grill
  • Ashmont Grill
  • Flat Black Cafe
  • Savin Hill Yoga
  • Stitch House
  • Museum of Science
  • Ashmont Cycles 
  • More prizes are being added! 
    bikeclip-art-yoga-860058 coffee-cup-steam-20694780

Rules of the Raffle:

Any Co-op member who refers a new member is entered into the raffle
(Referring member and new member must both have a $25 minimum installment payment)

Any person who becomes a member is entered into the raffle
($25 minimum installment payment)

A Co-op member may be entered into the raffle as many times as they refer a new member
(increasing your odds of winning a prize!)

The drawing will occur in June on Dorchester Day—members can only win one prize, and drawing will continue until all prizes are distributed.

Happy recruiting and let’s build this Co-op!

Jenny Silverman (Project Manager) and Lynn Murray (Education and Outreach Organizer)
For more information: contact or


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