BUTTE - Initial support of a co-op grocery store in Butte has been so strong, organizers believe they can have one up and running by next spring.
“We want this to be successful. We don’t want to just open our doors and not have it be successful, so we’re taking our time to make sure that we’re completing all these steps,” said Julie Jaksha, Butte’s Small Business Development Director.
The idea to start a cooperative, community-owned grocery store in Butte was first proposed in early June in the Uptown location of the former Hennessy Market building on East Granite Street.
Support has been strong and organizers received more than 700 responses from an online survey with people suggesting what they want this co-op to sell.
“There is a desperate need for healthier food, there’s a desperate need for more locally sourced food,” said Jaksha.
Organizers believe to realistically get this store open by next spring they’re going to need to raise between $200,000 and $300,000, but they’re confident they can make it happen.
“I’m pleased with the support, it’s overwhelming when you get 700 people in Butte to fill out of survey and say ‘we want this,’ i think that’s a really good indication that Butte needs a food co-op,” said Jaksha.
The Butte group has been working with the Montana Cooperative Development Center out of Great Falls to help get this project going.