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Community Co-op Market struggling; how it affects area vendors and how you can help

The co-op must increase sales by 10% over the next six months
CALL FOR HELP: Community Co-op Market struggling; how it affects local vendors and how you can support
Posted at 6:10 PM, Feb 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-13 18:10:49-05
  • Community Co-op Market has six months to increase sales by 10 percent or face permanent closure.
  • The co-op stocks its shelves by sourcing food from over 50 vendors in North Florida and South Georgia.
  • Watch now to hear from one farmer and the store about how important it is that the co-op stay open in Tallahassee.


It's a call for support from a unique grocery store in town.

I'm Alberto Camargo in Southeast Tallahassee.

Where Community Co-op Market is struggling for business.

With a model based on buying from local vendors to sell its products,

I'm finding out where this store stands and how the success of the co-op affects one of its local farmers.

A unique grocery experience in the Capital City, Community Co-op Market has fallen on tough times.

The market says it needs 10% more sales over the next six months, or its doors will close.

It's locally-sourced model means that over 50 local vendors would be affected if it closed.

Like Full Earth Farms in Quincy.

Co-manager Katie Harris says its business with the co-op is a significant piece of its yearly revenue.

"I think the average is about 10 percent, so it's not our only avenue, it's not our biggest avenue, but we would really miss it if it went away."

Things are looking up, though.

The co-op's chief operating and financial officer Rene Deschene says the community has responded to it's call for support.

"About a 25% increase in sales and customers through the door. That started on Thursday. And it's been continuing through today."

The co-op has dropped prices of everyday foods and canned goods, while still being the only grocery store in town that accepts Fresh Access Bucks, a program that allows customers to use SNAP benefits to get up $10 in fresh produce for free.

"We want to be here. We do a lot of good for the local vendors, we do a lot of good in the local community.

It's that community that the co-op needs to rally around it.

Harris says shopping at the co-op is an investment in people, not just business.

"Supporting each other, local businesses, you create a more resilient economic situation for your community. And that's the thing that I think really pushes me to want the co-op to succeed and my peers to succeed in local farming."

Local support, in more ways than one.

If you're looking for the low-priced items, look for any items with this purple tag or the store's Field Day brand.

In Southeast Tallahassee, Alberto Camargo, ABC27.