New Germantown Weavers Way brings smiles to the aisles

by Ann Marie Doley
Posted 5/22/24

Germantown's newest grocery store, a 6,000-square-foot Weavers Way Co-op, is off to a booming start.

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New Germantown Weavers Way brings smiles to the aisles


Germantown's newest grocery store, a 6,000-square-foot Weavers Way Co-op located in what had once been an Acme building at the corner of Chelten Avenue and Morris Street, is off to a booming start.

After just four days of business, sales are booming and so is membership. According to General Manager Jon Roesser, the new store hit $143,730 in sales between Wednesday and Sunday and has already signed up 172 new member households – for a total of 12,240 members across the Co-op's four stores.

"So far, things look good – and stronger than expected," he said on Monday.

And there has been no shortage of enthusiasm for the neighborhood’s first store to offer this mix of organic and locally grown foods. At the grand opening on Friday, a large and upbeat crowd – including long-time Co-op members, small business owners, curious neighborhood residents and a ‘who's who’ of elected officials, food-related nonprofits, and representatives from various lending agencies – gathered to cut what was surely the longest grand opening ribbon in Germantown history.

State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Mt. Airy, who was one of many speakers and was later seen wheeling out a cart full of groceries, delighted the crowd when he said: "Most notably, I'm a member. I own this joint…with ALL of you! Community knows no boundary. This store is a manifestation of what people want."

Many movers and shakers had to come together to raise the $8 million needed to purchase and transform the long-vacant building, once an Acme market, into a gleaming, full-service store replete with a large prepared foods section and wide aisles stocked with healthy fresh foods.

State, federal, and city officials who stood to cut the actual ribbon joked about who had raised the biggest sum – and most of the credit went to U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans for helping create Pennsylvania's Fresh Food Financing Initiative in 2004, which then became a federal program during the Obama years.

Roesser made sure to point out that Co-op members themselves made the biggest investment, with more than $2.2 million in member loans helping to make the Germantown store a reality.

Weavers Way board president Cheryl Croxton predicted the store would be an "anchoring and stabilizing force in our community," and State Sen. Art Haywood described it as "a dream come true. Our neighbors know that food is medicine."

According to Roesser, produce appears to be among the most popular items, with the biggest selling items being: strawberries, 663 lbs; blueberries, 514 lbs; Jail Island salmon fillets, 106 lbs; organic bananas, 961 lbs; Halo brand clementines, 237 bags; grapes, assorted colors, 162 lbs; herb-roasted chickens, 64 birds; cut flowers, 56 bouquets; local strawberries, 57 lbs; and avocados, 357 lbs.

Roesser said some of the new store's activity is likely due to people from outside the neighborhood coming to check it out. A Sunday "sky-high" rush may have been driven, at least in part, by the Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Festival and the Ambler Car Show, which drew curious members out of those neighborhoods and into Germantown.

"Changing existing shopping patterns is always difficult – people are creatures of habit – so a brand-new store needs time to become part of people's routines," he said. "Sales in Mt. Airy declined by about 10%, which is actually a little less than expected," Roesser said. "We knew Germantown would pull regular shoppers away from Mt. Airy, especially those who live in Germantown and East Falls."

He also noted that they're still fine-tuning certain store operations, such as waste management, back-of-store organization, and sandwich ordering protocols. And of course, there are the inevitable kinks that come with opening any new store.

"The parking lot is probably half the size of what it really should be, so at some point, we may apply for an exit onto Morris so we can establish one-way traffic in the lot," Roesser said. "And we have one mobility scooter for shoppers who need it, and turns out that's not enough. We'll need another one."

The Germantown residents who have been members of Weavers Way since before the new store opened have long worked for the organization to open a store in their neighborhood. Now that it has, they're off to a strong start in honoring their pledge to support it – and get their neighbors to do the same. The new store has been the number one topic on Germantown social media all week, with people raving about its quality and charm, sharing their shopping experiences, and urging others to become members.

The Weavers Way Co-op is the third grocery store in the immediate neighborhood, joining a Save-A-Lot and IGA market. But it is the only one of the three that offers the kind of fresh and natural food offerings that the Co-op is known for.

The store is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, or to learn how a Co-op works, go to