Your favorite theoretical grocery store is finally becoming a reality.
After years of searching and quite a few spaces with a “lot of potential that have not worked out for one reason or another,” says Jess Calter, President of the Co-op, they finally have the space for the grocery store. Last year they had expanded the search area for a location, but despite those stretched boundaries, they still ended up with a space in what many consider as the heart of South Philly in East Passyunk Crossing. The location is close to Broad Street and right off of Snyder Avenue near South Philadelphia High School, allowing for easy access for residents.
“We’re proud to be part of the movement harnessing economic control for our community and to provide healthy food access to our South Philadelphia neighbors,” Calter says.
The location is on the smaller side of the range the South Philly Food Co-op was searching for at 3,400 sq. ft., but because of the convenience of the location and the ability to come in “at the right moment in the space’s development,” they can renovate the building to create the grocery store they have been envisioning. It is currently a “shell of a space” that can be customized to fit the Co-op’s needs.
While the lease has been signed, it will still be some time before you will be buying fresh and local foods at the grocery store. The South Philly Food Co-op is still in the process of finalizing a timeline, but hopes to be able to open the store by the end of 2017. They are “excited to be launching into [the] next phases of development,” according to Calter.
As of right now, the property is still being developed by Blake Barabuscio. The next steps for the location will include the process of working with a grocery store layout consultant, hiring an architect and finding a general manager who will assist in the big decisions of the operational details for the grocery store. Once the store is up-and-running, they plan to work with the nearby South Philadelphia High School’s students, along with the surrounding community and nearby civic associations.
The grocery store will likely be open seven days a week, with hours to be determined in the future.