Eat Your Zipcode: Clayton Food Co-op

From the Watertown Daily Times:

Clayton residents to open a food coop in May


CLAYTON — Residents are opening a food co-op in the Winged Bull Studio on James Street in May to provide community members with local produce seven days a week, all year round.

Lori Wilson Arnot, executive director of the Clayton Food Co-op, said she and the founding members of the co-op saw the need for an all-natural food store and got together over the winter to get the ball rolling.

“It’s come together pretty easily, actually. We have a few investors, and we’ll be applying for a Fresh Connect grant from the state Department of Agriculture,” she said.

The co-op plans to offer everything from fresh produce, baked goods, meat, dairy and honey to soaps and personal care items — most of which will be provided by local farmers and vendors.

Unlike a grocery store, there is a cost to join the co-op — a one-time capital share payment of $150 and an annual household membership fee of $35 — because the business is owned and managed by its members.

“We’d like to restore the sense of ownership, support local agriculture and make healthy food available for the community,” she said.

Mrs. Arnot said the co-op’s board of directors expects to have 200 members on board by the end of the year.

Currently, she said, all board members happen to be from the town of Clayton, but the co-op is open to anybody who wishes to take part in the effort.

Local vendors interested in selling their produce or product must first fill out a form online.

The co-op will employ three part-time workers, and store hours have been tentatively set from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A grand opening is scheduled for mid-May.

For more information, contact the Clayton Food Co-op at 775-8087 or visit its website.

A food co-op is opening in Clayton! I remember my mom working for a co-op when I was young (fruit leathers anyone?). I would love to join this, but the $150 startup fee is a little too much to ask from me considering I’d probably only be purchasing specialty items that we’re not growing in our own garden (and that aren’t available at the TILT-run community garden at Zenda Farm). Hopefully they will allow the public to purchase there as well…


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