Community grocery membership at a crossroads

The Columbus Food Co-op is down to two choices for its members to make — either a smaller store space or bankruptcy.

Co-op Board member Jennifer Corsi explains:

The co-op wants to open a small, community-owned grocery on Central Avenue that would feature healthy food, much of it purchased from area farmers. But the co-op board has recently determined that there is not enough money to open a larger store in the 8,400 square foot space they are renting, Corsi says.

The smaller 3,000 square foot store would allow the co-op to start operations with a $730,000 fund instead of the original $2.1 million dollar estimate, she says. There have been several changes made to trim the cost down, while still providing the functions needed in a store.

But if the smaller store option is chosen, the co-op still needs to raise money to make that happen. Members will be asked what level of additional support they can make.

Should the membership decide to go the bankruptcy route, the board would hire an attorney to look into the options and to determine how the assets are divided among the members.

A series of meetings, a mailing and a Facebook campaign have generated replies from only a handful of the co-op’s more than 1,100 member families.

There will be a final meeting on Tuesday night for co-op members to voice their thoughts on the upcoming decision. That will start at 6 p.m. at the storefront space at 1580 Central Ave