Food Co-op Opening Today

coop_logoThe Portland Food Co-op (website, facebook, twitter) is opening today, 11 – 4. Starting Thursday they’ll be open 9 – 7 and hope to expand the hours of operation as the store’s customer base grows.

The co-op is located at 290 Congress Street at the foot of Munjoy Hill.

10 comments on “Food Co-op Opening Today

  1. I found that the staffers managing the various departments of the store are woefully inept and know nothing about their products. There should be a local farm whiz there but sadly there isn’t.

  2. Place looked great, employees were smiling, just not what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be trader joes price points with local products but it was all higher than even whole foods. Not their fault, I know they don’t have buying power of a large chain. I just was expecting a place where you could do your grocery shopping or at least half of it.

    Again nothing they’re doing wrong.

  3. Probobly my last visit also.Way too pricey.Nice store otherwise.They’ll do well when the million dollar apartments on the hill get filled.

  4. I second your comment, PFM
    and here’s a note from the Co-Op’s newsletter dated Nov 20:
    “Three things all Co-op shoppers should know:
    Current product selection isn’t necessarily permanent. In working with a national cooperative consulting group on our opening order, many industry “best selling products” were chosen. Please give us feedback as we want to ensure the items we stock are what you want. We will have feedback forms specifically for this purpose.
    We’re still shaping our Co-op, and it takes time to build relationships with the hundreds of local farmers and producers we plan to work with so we’ll continue to add more local products as we go.

  5. Yeah I guess it wasn’t fair after one visit on first day to say never again . I was just hoping for a grocery store for regular folks. A jar of almond butter, regular sized strawberries and one roll of tp would be like 25+ dollars. I could buy a week’s worth of groceries at tj’s for that. Co-op seemed more like the hilltop superette than a grocery store. I wish them luck cause it’s a great idea and use of that space

  6. Nick–have you ever visited a co-op before? They don’t have the volume or buying power of a store like TJ’s-so, no co-op, anywhere, will ever have the price points of TJ’s. They’re there to be an independent option to the large grocery stores, with a deeper focus on local producers.

  7. I encourage any to do a little browsing into the greater co-op world. Many co-op’s unfortunately start off at a higher price point only because as an independent store they don’t have the voluminous resources that a national chain has in many regards but specifically to price image. Of the many goals we have at Portland Food Co-op one of the most important is that we would have fair prices on beautiful local and organic foods. This is a huge challenge at the gate. I have personally spent spent many hours examining price points throughout the store in an effort reduce prices now wherever we can. Going forward as more and more people shop the co-op and the more volume we push through our doors, the more we will be able to pass on volume discounts we receive from food distributors. On behalf of Portland Food Co-op I apologize if any felt staff members were “inept”. For some new hires this is all new, others of us have been at it for many years but are currently running about ensuring that our systems are in place for greater efficiency. We have many on staff that know their products well and the good news is that we’ve been slamming busy since we opened on Wednesday and will need to hire additional staff very soon. An associate in the industry once said: “A co-op is as successful as the community allows it to be.” We hope you give us a chance as your community-owned market. We v

  8. …We value the input of all members and shoppers. This is only the beginning. We believe we have a bright future as we strive to do our part in supporting the growth of a more sustainable Maine food system. Our larger distributors are working with us on volume discount structures and as we pursue membership with the National Cooperative Grocer’s Association we will take part in passing on substantial savings through the “co-op deals” program. We’re also working on a bi-weekly or monthly flier offering special discounts to members. Hope to see you at the co-op and please let us know how we can best serve your needs.

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