By next summer, Lovettsville residents can expect to have fresh produce and other groceries only a short walk away.
On Saturday, members of the Lovettsville Cooperative Market held a groundbreaking celebration at the location of the Lovettsville Town Commons shopping center right off the town square.
Helping to throw the first shovels of dirt at the site was Pamela Baldwin, who, with her late husband Malcom, helped launch the concept of bringing a community-owned grocery store to Lovettsville a decade ago.
The shopping center will be built by Eco Developers, a firm that specializes in sustainability in its projects. Features at the Town Commons will range from rainwater collection and reuse to solar panels and solar pavers.
“We’re hoping to be in the ground in November. It will take eight or nine months to finish the project. And there’s been great interest in the other buildings, so we’re very excited to be here today and to kick this thing off,” Gary Large, Eco Developers principal, said.
The groundbreaking celebration featured many of the local vendors who will sell products in the co-op, such as Snickers Run Farm, Potomac Point Apiary, Long Stone Farm, Georges Mill Farm Artisan Cheese, Parsonage Soap, Greenstone Fields, Green Dragon Microfarm, Baltispore, The Dinner Belle’s Kitchen and Catering, Hanging Rock Hay and Grain, and Walsh Family Wines.
The co-op also continues to sign up new members, with the organization now totaling 766 member owners.
Profits from the community-owned and member-governed full-service store will go back into the community through support for local farmers, producers, and vendors as well as employment and taxes. Plans include a deli and grab-and-go meals.
Organizers have raised $1 million dollars to date from members.The money will be used to hire a general manager, design and construct the store, purchase equipment, and provide working capital.
Learn more at lovettsville-grocery.com.