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Abundance Food Co-op sets date for move & expansion

Abundance Co-op

The Abundance Food Co-op in Rochester held a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday to mark the opening date of its expanded operation.

That date was pushed back about a year due to some funding and other issues, but marketing manager Chris Whitebell says they’re on track now, and they are planning to open on Earth Day next year, April 22nd.

Whitebell says the store is moving from Marshall Street in Rochester to a building in the South Wedge neighborhood  at 571 South Avenue. 

“We’re going to be more than twice the size of our current store, which means it will have a wider selection, that means more produce, more grocery items and additionally we’re going to have a hot bar and a salad bar and a much larger grab and go section.”

Whitebell says when places like Abundance first began, there wasn’t the kind of competition there is now, with a number of supermarket chains and other retailers offering organic food.

“The challenge for co-ops around the country how can we show that a co-op, being a community owned grocery store, with the real core focus on healthy nutritious food, how can we make that more accessible to everybody, so people can experience how great a co-op is.”

The Abundance Food Co-op is also expected to add several staffers as part of the expansion. The new space will also have a community room where classes can be held and other non-profits can hold meetings.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.