GREENSBORO, N.C. — Organizers with the Renaissance Community Co-op say each day they get one step closer to opening up their grocery store.
It’s a process that has been in the works for many years. As of now, the projected opening date is late summer, early fall. So far there are 725 investors — all of them donating money to become partial owners of the community owned and operated store.
In the northeast section of Greensboro, stores that provide fresh produce are scarce. Many people refer to the area around Phillips Avenue as a food desert. An affordable grocery store is in high demand according to John Jones, the board president of the co-op.
Jones lives within a mile of where this grocery store will be. Jones, like many others, is emotionally and financially invested in this upcoming store.
“Greensboro will become the new spot in the world that says we care and we are going to eliminate food deserts,” Jones said.
For the past month, Jones said the site for the store has gone forward. The site is at the old Winn-Dixie store.
Jones says the site came with some unexpected problems, leading to unexpected construction. Jones said they had planned for roof changes and ended up having to gut the entire inside and make changes on the outside structure. With all that construction, Jones says, they are only about a month behind schedule.
Jones says the next step is to continue with raising money and getting more people invest in the store. Their goal is to reach 1,000 investors.
So far people in Greensboro, across the Triad, throughout North Carolina and even some nationwide have invested.
The store will be a part of an upcoming retail center. Real estate developers for that retail center property say they are continuing to move forward with that overall site. As for now, the co-op store is the only confirmed shop in the center.