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Archive for July, 2009

coop

By Jonathan Cook
Turley Publications Reporter

STURBRIDGE – This is a place where a farmer who lives around the corner brings the morning’s ripest picks, and a baker brings warm bread in a basket. Musicians are strumming away over there. Two friends are dividing a box of organic coffee they got delivered for wholesale. There’s a beekeeper with big jars of local honey. Maybe a potter with salad bowls. And it’s all happening in the breathtaking space of a restored mill building.
But not really. Not yet anyway. For those interested it starts Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Be at the Millyard Marketplace and meet Melinda Kirkpatrick to be a part of what she is beginning.
“I’ve always wanted to start a co-op,” says Kirkpatrick, who grew up in Spencer, where her parents were in one. That model fell apart after a while because it was a lot of work for the members. But the co-op Kirkpatrick is setting up is “more than just looking through a catalog. We’ll have farmers, bakers, setting up a market day on pick up day” which will be once every month.
She envisions a co-op that will order as a group to get “high quality, wholesale, tax free” foods from Associated Buyers Club as well as from Frontier Wholesale. At the same time, she has been contacting the best local bakers, farmers and musicians to make pick up day a destination, instead of a chore.
Kirkpatrick is already having fun as she imagines aloud the potential for such an event – fresh flowers, celebrity chefs, people sharing ideas and trading garden surplus. “I hope there’ll be lots of swapping,” she says.
All of a sudden the old mill factory turned market on the Quinebaug River is alive with local economy. Co-op members will be charged a small annual administration fee. Products are purchased at wholesale cost. She said the co-op will probably form a board of directors, but that will be decided with members’ input.
For those who can’t make it Sunday, Kirkpatrick can be reached at info@ourtvspace.com or 774-241-0430.
The pick up will be held in Kirkpatrick’s place of business called OurTvSpace, which is composed of about 5,000 square feet of “mostly open” floor space.
She says the space is ideal because it can be used in foul weather, a freight elevator can hoist a vendor’s products, and because it’s wide open and big enough to accommodate a lot of activity.
She says she plans to offer pilates and yoga classes at some point in time.
“There’s going to be lots happening.”

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