Central Brooklyn Food Co-op looks for retail storefront

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The Central Brooklyn Food Co-op has been trying to get off the ground for a little less than a decade.

They say they are now ready to move forward and look for a retail space, but as property values and rents rise, they are raising money to secure a spot for generations to come.

Bed-Stuy is one of the neighborhoods targeted for the Central Brooklyn Food Co-op along with Crown Heights. Board members have been strategizing for six years to make this dream come true.

“The idea of the Central Brooklyn Food Co-op is to create a space that is owned and operated by local people and specifically centers black folks and long term residents as well,” says Mark Winston Griffith, board member of the Central Brooklyn Food Co-op.

The co-op would partner with local growers as well as farmers and food producers such as Tranquility Farm.

“I can’t wait to grow beds and beds of chard and collards and callaloo, all those tropical Caribbean vegetables,” says Ena McPherson, of Tranquility Farm.

An area that locals say has been lacking is healthy and affordable food options.

“They're tearing down supermarkets and putting up buildings. We have bodegas, we love our bodega guys, but they don't carry the best of everything. We want to have, you know, a place where we can get the best of best at affordable prices and, you know, food should not be a privilege. It's a right,” says McPherson.

To start, a crowdfunding campaign kicked off and within a week reached its goal of $25,000. Members say there's still a month left and a lot more capital to raise.

They are working to fundraise until Nov. 22 with a goal of opening a storefront in spring 2020. 

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