People's Food Co-op reaches fundraising goal, eyes September opening

People's Food Co-op has reached its fundraising goal earlier than expected, and hopes to open its new Rochester store in September 2013.

The co-op, which has a long-established location in La Crosse, Wis., stopped selling stock Thursday after reaching its goal of $900,000 in commitments. More than 100 co-op members made commitments, said the co-op's general manager, Michelle Schry.

"The best-case scenario was that we would finish (raising funds) by the end of the year," she said.

The co-op's current Rochester store is located at 1001 Sixth St. N.W. The co-op merged with The Good Food Store in the fall of 2011.

The co-op hopes to start constructing the new store in late February 2013. The store will make up the first floor of the Metropolitan Market Place, which broke ground on May 18 at First Avenue and Sixth Street Southwest. The building will include four floors of apartments above the store.


"The excitement is pretty high," Schry said. "A lot of people are excited about having a full-service (grocery) store in downtown Rochester."

Residents in the Historic Southwest and Slatterly Park neighborhoods are eager for the grocery store to open, said the co-op's Liz Haywood during the groundbreaking for the Metropolitan Market Place.

Schry described the co-op's new store as being a complement to Rochester's downtown farmers' market, except that the so-op store is open every day.

The store will be about 26,000 square feet in size, compared to the existing store's 7,000 square feet. The largest expansion will be in the delicatessen area.

The co-op plans to add 50 employees to the 35 who work at the current Rochester store.

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