BLUE HILL – Blue Hill is now home to the state’s largest co-op.
“People in this area really care about food and where it comes from and their local market so I think that we’re really happy that there is a such a high demand,” said Marketing Manager Kipp Hopkins.
Co-ops allow shoppers to become members of the store. One employee considers it a physical and emotional investment. She said being a member allows customers to have a say and feel a part of where they are shopping.
“That’s the cooperative model. That’s reaching out to them and asking them and in turn, taking those suggestions and making them a reality,” said Susan Snider, the co-op’s secretary.
With a move from Ellsworth Road to South Street, one employee at Blue Hill Co-op said the new location offers a lot more room for expansion.
“We’re going to be able to do so much more as offering products for our members, being able to hire more people and employ people in the area and being able to create events,” said Snider. “Our store is an event venue also.”
One employee said this is just the beginning for the co-op and they have a lot planned for the future.
The co-op plans to re-landscape by planting more than 400 trees. In their cafe, they hope to bring the community together with live music and movie nights.
Snider said they also plan to become more energy efficient with a solar plan.
“It’s kind of that built it and they will come. I think our members are seeing now that the reality of our co-op is, it’s really good for our community,” said Snider.
Hopkins said from the start the community has been supportive and excited for this addition to Blue Hill.
“We are nothing but our community here because it’s community owned and community operated,” Hopkins said.
“To have such a supportive and involved community we’re just very privileged.”