The Weavers Way food co-op is on target with plans to open a fourth store in Germantown.
The Weavers Way food co-op is on target with plans to open a fourth store in Germantown, and the board of directors is now asking members to invest up to $1.5 million in fixed rate loans – something they also did when they opened their stores in Chestnut Hill and Ambler.
The loans would mature in four, six and eight year terms and bear simple interest at 2.5 percent, four percent and five percent, respectively.
Weavers Way is redeveloping a 9000 square foot building that was originally constructed as an Acme at the corner of W. Chelten Ave. and Morris Street for their new store. When complete, it will be larger than the stores in both Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.
In their plans, the store states that it hopes to meet neighborhood demand for affordable, healthy and local food options. It also intends to “keep the community's hard earned food dollars in the neighborhood, and create economic opportunity through jobs, new vendor sales, and significant investment in the local food system.”
The new store has significant support from the neighborhood's U.S., state and local representatives.
And this summer, one such boost came from a $200,000 grant from the 2021 America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative’s Targeted Small Grants program. Funding for the HFFI program comes through the U. S. Department of Agriculture as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. The store will receive their full grant funding through the Reinvestment Fund, which administers the HFFI program on behalf of the USDA.
Weavers Way was one of 134 awardees for this grant, and was selected through a competitive process open to fresh food enterprises seeking financial help to overcome the higher costs and barriers attached to opening and operating in specific areas. The public-private partnership aims to provide capacity-building and financing to stimulate food business development and to build a more equitable food system.
“It takes an enormous amount of logistics and financing to open a cooperative grocery store, with concern for, and involvement from, the communities we serve being a major cornerstone of our cooperative principles,” said Weavers Way General Manager Jon Roesser. “Receiving this grant adds to the excitement of what we are doing and what we will be bringing to Germantown next year.”