Employees spent Friday preparing for the opening of a new grocery store in Boston that offers customers the chance to become member-owners and have a say in how the business is managed.
The official grand opening of the Dorchester Food Cooperative, located at 195 Bowdoin Street, took place early Saturday afternoon. “In fact, we are the only co-op in Boston and one of the few in Massachusetts,” said General Manager and CEO John Santos. Santos said the co-op focuses on quality, citing policies that ban the sale of products containing high fructose corn syrup and ensure their fish do not contain tripolyphosphates.
“Those are important things to really bring nutritious foods to customers in hopes of combating diabetes, obesity and all of those things,” Santos said. To balance the cost of these products, customers can buy other items such as olive oil, maple syrup or detergent in bulk and bring their own containers to the store.
Santos said the store is also committed to being environmentally friendly and reflective of the surrounding community. “We have people from Cape Verde, we have people from Haiti, everywhere, so we speak a lot of different languages at the store,” he said.
While being an owner member is not a requirement to shop at the co-op, customers can pay a one-time $100 fee and have a say in how the co-op operates. “We operate with a board of directors, so it is the members who elect the board,” Santos explains.
In addition to fresh produce, household items and pantry staples, the co-op also has a coffee and juice bar, a grab-and-go dining area and a microwave for customers who don’t have Conditions for enjoying hot meals.