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Richmond Food Co-op discontinued: ‘All avenues have been exhausted’

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The 2-acre site sold Aug. 27 for $1.4 million to local developers. (Mike Platania)

RICHMOND, Va. — After about six years on the shelf, a local food co-op has met its expiration date.

The Richmond Food Co-op, a fledgling effort for a member-owned grocery store on the Southside, is officially discontinuing its hopes of opening.

That’s according to an email sent to co-op members by the group’s board of directors on Nov. 4, a copy of which was obtained by BizSense.

“After several calls for member involvement and a period of exploration, we feel that all avenues have been exhausted,” the email states. “After careful consideration, we do not have the resources needed to open our shared vision of a cooperative grocery store.”

The announcement comes a few months after the co-op’s would-be home at 1200-1209 Westover Hills Blvd. sold to local developers, who stated that the grocer would not be a tenant in the property. In the weeks after the sale, the co-op reaffirmed that it was still around and began mulling its options.

The Richmond Food Co-op kicked off a fundraising campaign in 2013 to open a member-owned grocery concept, with eyes originally on Scott’s Addition. Members could join the co-op for a $125 membership fee and a $25 joining fee.

The co-op raised about $125,000 from around 1,000 members. In the Nov. 4 letter, the board wrote that those membership fees will not be refunded.

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