The National Co+op Grocers (NCG) has expanded its membership to 154 following the addition of these three grocers: Kensington Community Food Co-op, Gem City Market and Wild Onion Market, NCG announced on Tuesday.
“Co-ops not only provide people with access to fresh, healthy foods, they empower and help build thriving communities by keeping decision-making and profits at the local level,” said NCG CEO C.E. Pugh in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have these three co-ops join NCG and we look forward to supporting their work for many years to come.”
NCG is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the country, which now operates more than 220 stores in 38 states with combined annual sales of nearly $2.4 billion.
Kensington Community Food Co-op, founded in 2010 is located in Philadelphia and serves the River Ward neighborhoods by offering local food choices as well as local employment. In 2019, the co-op opened a retail location but was forced to close due to the impacts of COVID and operational challenges. Following a successful fundraising drive, it recently reopened.
New grocer member Gem City Market, located in Dayton, Ohio, began organizing in 2017 and opened its store in 2021. Gem City Market provides three classes of co-op membership: workers, consumers and sponsors. In addition to its full-service grocery store, Gem City Market features a teaching kitchen, community room, mini health clinic and a coffeehouse. The co-op has annual sales of approximately $2.6 million, NCG said in a statement.
Looking to open its first retail location this summer in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, Wild Onion Market began organizing in 2014. With a mission to establish a community-owned grocery store to serve Chicago’s North Side, Wild Onion Market projects first-year sales of $3.1 million.
NCG provides the capacity of a chain grocer while maintaining the autonomy of each individual co-op.