A Juneau food cooperative that formed in a bid to take over the only full service grocery store downtown is moving ahead with startup efforts, despite a commercial operator that looks poised to take over the Alaskan & Proud space.
The co-op incorporated as Capital City Market last month. Organizer Evelyn Rousso says it raised nearly $18-thousand dollars during a founding member drive. The group also applied for a grant from the Food Co-op Initiative to pay for half of a market study to look at whether a co-op would work in Juneau.
Rousso says the study will be commissioned this week, but its scope likely will be expanded to look at more than just the A&P store in the Foodland Shopping Center.
“We’ve been holding off based on the rumors about a potential operator for the Foodland space,” Rousso says. “But we do want to move forward with that, and if we don’t hear soon we’ll move forward having them look at all different possibilities whether or not there’s someone in that space.”
Whidbey Island-based Myers Group is the company interested in moving into the Foodland location. President Tyler Myers last week said he hoped to have financing in place by Monday. He did not immediately respond to an email seeking an update. Myers Group owns about half a dozen IGA stores in western Washington, including markets in downtown Seattle and Tacoma.
In an email to supporters last night, Capital City Market organizers said they’ve spoken to Myers and hope to meet with him in person soon.
Rousso says the co-op will hold its first membership meeting September 21st in order to elect a board of directors. The group should find out about the Food Co-op Initiative grant it applied for by mid-September.