At a public event on Friday night at The Staircase Theatre, organizers unveiled their location: 460 York Boulevard, on the north side of York between Inchbury and Locke.
By Ryan McGreal
Published September 23, 2013
this article has been updated
The Mustard Seed Co-operative Grocery has reached an important milestone in its campaign to open its grocery store in Hamilton. At a public event on Friday night at The Staircase Theatre, organizers unveiled their location: 460 York Boulevard, on the north side of York between Inchbury and Locke.
Mustard Seed location announcement at The Staircase (Image Credit: Jeff Tessier)
The store, formerly Grace Food Market, has everything the co-op organizers were looking for: the right zoning; a location close to the membership; an ideal size at 4,000 square feet; great visibility on a major road into Hamilton; easy access via walking, cycling, transit (with bus stops right out front) and driving; on-site parking; barrier-free entry; a walk-in cooler; 2,000 square feet of basement stock room; a loading dock; and an interior layout that will not require major renovations.
The organization takes possession on October 14 and hopes to have the store open before the end of the year. It has already raised half of the $560,000 it will need to open, and is encouraging people to become a member and make direct investments to complete its funding.
The Hamilton Future Fund has provisinally donated $25,000 in social investment capital (it still needs to be ratified by Council), and the Mustard Seed has an opportunity to win another $25,000 through the National Co-Op Challenge
It is also looking for volunteers to help get the store ready, including cleaning, painting, decorating, and stocking.
Mustard Seed store rendering
The Mustard Seed started in early 2012 when the City was discussing ways to encourage a new grocery store to open in downtown Hamilton. A group of citizens decided that the city also needs a co-operative grocery owned and run by members in the community to provide fresh, local and high quality foods with a real community orientation.
The co-op organization officially launched in November 2012 and, in less than a year, has managed to sign up 662 members as well as secure a location.
According to the organizers: "The mustard seed is an ancient metaphor for great things coming out of small beginnings – and with quite the kick. We believe the downtown food co-op will make a big impact on our city; starting small and growing into something that is part of the vitality of our downtown."
Organizer Graham Cubitt announces the location
Update: updated to include the photo by Jeff Tessier.
Update 2: this article originally stated that the Mustard Seed received a $25,000 donation from Hamilton Community Foundation. This is incorrect: the Mustard Seed has actually received a $25,000 donation from Hamilton Future Fund, though the donation must still be ratified by Council. RTH regrets the error. You can jump to the changed paragraph.
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