For residents who frequent the Marquette Food Co-op, the wait for the store’s new building is almost over.
It’s expected to open in about two months.
At the co-op’s annual meeting Friday night, General Manager Matt Gougeon said the co-op hopes to have the new store on Washington Street open on May 15.
Many of the 3,000-plus members of the co-op have donated to help fund the new building.
“All of these people behind me here, many of them having invested directly into our expansion project, and we are building a near $5 million project in downtown Marquette,” Gougeon said. “A lot of people behind me here have invested their own money in it–it’s very significant. And it’s very rare that you can actually invest your dollars into a project in downtown Marquette if you’re a Marquette resident or an Upper Peninsula resident.”
In 2013, not only did plans move forward for the brand-new building, but the co-op created the U.P. Food Exchange. The co-op has grown over 40% in terms of revenue and membership in the past four or five years, which has led to the organization’s expansion.
“We have what people in our country are moving toward– a healthier lifestyle, a healthier diet,” Gougeon said. “We sell a wide selection of organic and natural products, and we’ve hung out hats on local foods.”
“We are the Upper Peninsula greatest purveyor of local food. About 11% of sales of the products in our store come from local producers. Local for the Marquette Food Co-op means Upper Peninsula grown, raised or produced.”