Is the Coop going corporate?
Weavers Way Co-op is experiencing major growing pains- namely, growth of the building a few blocks down the street which will house rival The Fresh Market.
In recent years I have noticed many changes at the Co-op, many for the good like the Co-op farms and education programs.
Other changes indicate a shift in coop culture toward a more corporate and less values – driven model:
The amount of shelf space dedicated to higher-priced items is dramatically up. (Ironically, the wonderful produce from the Co-op micro farms is also high-priced, likely because the farms are under pressure to be a corporate profit center by Co-op leadership.)
The working members who helped bring down costs and create a sense of shared ownership and community – the doctor, the lawyer, the candlestick maker shelving corn chips or unpacking iced greens – are hardly ever seen.
The only increase in people of color in the stores appears to be not shoppers but employees.
Staff representation on the board of directors is gone.
Annual meetings are largely corporate board presentations and plans are in the works to reduce the two annual meetings to one.
The more the co-op fashions itself as a traditional upscale food market, the more it invites shoppers to patronize the competition. It has no monopoly in the Northwest Philadelphia community on offering organic food or locally sourced product.
Weavers Way may pride itself on paying its growing number of food service workers a little better than the competition. But where lies the societal benefit in catering to a better-off-than-average clientele by employing college graduates to do repetitive work that doesn’t even pay a livable wage?
Save the Flourtown Farmers Market
Since I returned to the area last fall after being away for 10 years, I haven’t cooked a meal because everything I want to eat is available at the Flourtown Farmers Market. I’m a real foodie, so I’m talking great food.
Now, rumor has it that the CVS next door to the Farmers Market wants to rebuild/expand into the market space, which means the Flourtown Farmers Market would close.
To sign the petition to keep it open, go to www.change.org/p/cvs-pharmacy-consider-the-flourtown-farmers-market-in-proposed-expansion-of-cvs-791. You will receive an email back asking that you click “sign the petition.” That’s all you need to do.
The Flourtown Farmers Market includes vendors offering cheese and coffee/tea, Mexican food, two delis, Mediterranean food, Metropolitan bakery, fresh fruits and vegetables, savory home-made soups, fresh poultry and meats, sushi, fresh seafood, cooked pasta, and several vendors offering delicious cooked dinner entrees and sides.
If the market closes, many vendors will lose their business and livelihood. And we, as locals, will be deprived of diverse, fabulous food at good prices.
Send that email today to save the Flourtown Farmers Market.