Food Co-op Is Now Open In Clinton Hill

March 5, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN — The Park Slope Food Co-op and the Flatbush Food Co-op have been joined by the Greene Hill Food Co-op, which has now opened at 18 Putnam Ave. in Clinton Hill.

The co-op offers affordable, organic and local groceries for Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and nearby neighborhoods.

Greene Hill is a fully “working co-op,” meaning that members shop at the store, work at the store and co-own the store. Through the cooperation of all of its members, the store becomes a part of the community, with its members taking part in all aspects of decision-making.

“Greene Hill Food Co-op membership has grown more than 26 percent since Jan. 1, with 800 total members and counting,” said outreach coordinator Renée Bergan. “We think this remarkable growth makes it clear that local, organic and sustainable food is what our Brooklyn communities prefer, and are willing to work for to save money. It’s exciting and empowering to be a part of a community-run endeavor that’s getting stronger every day.”

Since 2011, the store has sold a range of food through its Buying Club at various locations as a way to gauge inventory supply and demand, and to establish relationships with local farmers and other suppliers. The success of the Buying Club helped expand membership to the point that the co-op is now financially able to operate its own store.

The Greene Hill Food Co-op requires all members to work two hours every four weeks, either in the store or on a committee that helps to run the store. The co-op is currently open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. — though hours are expanding quickly as membership grows.

Membership is open to everyone. Joining requires a refundable $150 investment and a non-refundable $25 administrative fee. For members who qualify, the co-op offers a payment plan with reduced administrative fee.

The shopping selection spans a wide variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables; dairy products; organic and/or grass-fed, free-range meats;  dried beans, grains, herbs and spices; fair-trade chocolate and coffee; and staples like flour, sugar, canned and jarred goods, and bread.

The store also carries environmentally safe cleaning supplies, and will soon begin stocking wild and sustainably farmed fish, natural pet foods, vitamins, dietary supplements and more.

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