Co-op grocery plans take shape

August 3, 2009
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Indy Food Co Op renderingIndy Food Cooperative plans to open the city's first not-for-profit grocery store in a 70-year-old former appliance store along East 10th Street near Rural. The cooperative, which has 200 Indianapolis households as its members,Pogue plans to renovate the 3,000-square-foot former Lane TV building into Pogue's Run Grocer. The store, set to open in October, will support local growers while providing local, fresh and organic food to a neighborhood that does not have a full-line grocery store. Members of the cooperative will receive discounts and other benefits, but the store also will be open to the public. The rendering here is from the local architecture firm Haus, and the photo is from Google Maps. Check out more here.
  • Sounds like we are getting a Bloomingfoods. Indianapofoods? Ok, sorry.
  • Cool, this will be interesting to see if the prices will be comprable to a Kroger or Marsh since it is in a more economically depressed area and has not other grocery competition. I wish it the best of luck, and even though I don't live near there, I will plan on making a trip there a few times. I liked Bloomingfoods when I was there. It was nice to go get the spices and herbs I needed for maybe one meal, without having to buy a large bottle of it from the other stores.
  • I belonged to The Wedge, a natural foods co-op in Minneapolis and loved it.
    I really hope they can pull it off since it is not too far out of my way.
  • Oh Yeah! It looks like dutcheastindie will soon have a new place to satisfy his cravings!

    Go vegan and save yourself, the animals and earth!
  • We really hope this effort will succeed. But it is the community that will determine the success of the coop. This coop is about the quality of food, not the price. It should buy locally as much as possible. Of course, you can't buy bananas and coffee in Indiana. The coop should be able to tell you where the food was grown and how it was grown. When we shop at Kroger or Marsh we don't have a choice but to buy food that has been treated in some way with chemicals. Part of the goal of this coop is to provide healty food, not food that has been preserved with chemicals (that we can't even pronounce) and shipped hundreds of miles. It is as close to buying at the farmer's market every day as possible. Bloomingfoods has been around for years; Paoli has a new coop; Mooresville has been trying to start a coop or a buying club; people do want this option. But the point is that people will have to make an effort to help this coop succeed. We often go out of our way to buy specific items we want. We will also go out of our way to buy from this coop-our effort to help it succeed.
  • What a terrible location.
  • If they run it well, they could turn a profit. They have better meat then the big named grocery stores.
  • I have family members with food allergies, so I am very excited to get another option. I think the location is great as it is close to downtown, Woodruff Place/Near Eastside, and only a short bike trip from Irvington.
  • Great option for many people. Hopefully the clientele won't be deterred by the location.

    Hey Dutch, kudos on your commitment to vegainsm. One question for you, what about the babies of vegans?
  • Berwickguy- Turn off Faux news for a minute and think about it:

    1- Breast milk does not come from animals but from humans. It is not an animal product.

    2- Breast milk is enough to sustain a child for the first year of life.

    3- Breast milk is the ideal food for a vegan baby.

    4- In fact, all breastfed babies are vegan, and this is even more true if the mother isn't eating animal products either.

    5- They are just as healthy as babies who are fed formula made from cow milk.

    5- Oh yeah, soy formula is fully nutritious and vegan.

    Smackdown over. Dutcheastindie out!
    • Excellent points, color me free. Coop members and other community supporters should consider spending their first grocery dollar every week at the coop.

      The location is convenient for tens of thousands of east side residents, who will be able to walk, bike, or stop off on their way home from work. It will take some re-programming for many of us: grocery shopping used to be done much more frequently in smaller buys. The advent of mega-stores has encouraged people to drive long distances and stock up every couple of weeks at the Uber-mart.

      Berwick Guy, the clientele are urban dwellers who live near the location and know what it is. (The founding members mostly live east between the inner loop and Irvington.) Most folks are enthusiastic about a positive development on East 10th, and have a commitment to making the neighborhood better. The suburban folks already have Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and aren't likely to venture south of 86th/82nd where people and places look too urban.
    • Dutch,

      I haven't heard anything about this on Fox. I have heard comments elsewhere and was just curious as to babies development. I appreciate the enlightenment. What you say makes sense. My question was not intended to be a negative.

      CDC Guy:

      I merely commented about this because of someone else's negative about the location. I live south suburban and would rather go there than all the way to Trader Joe's if I happen to be in the area. So, this, to me, is a positive development.
    • Glad to see such a coop on East 10th Street in what is an under-served area for such food options. The mid-to-far northside folks don't need another option in this regard.

      If this is successful, branches might be possible (I know, way too soon to be thinking this). The near westside or near southside could use such a coop, as could the heart of downtown. Perhaps an annex at City Market?

      Best of luck to the new venture.
    • Thanks, Berwick. I'm sorry for the defensiveness. I was being a knee-jerk. Unfortunately, it's often a default setting for vegans in the Midwest. Add that to the East-side defensiveness, and that's a strong cocktail.

      (Speaking of which, did anybody see the comment in the Star's Let it Out section over the weekend that stated I would rather be back in Iraq than live on the East side of Indy.


      I truly am excited about this on many levels! Good folks are trying hard to help the East side, and comments like that will make us only more proud of our accomplishments!
    • Looks good. I've never visited a coop grocery store, but will definitely make a visit once it's up and running.

      (Dutch: What you say is true, but very limited with regards to actually RAISING a child a vegan. More often than not, many parents are forced to provide their children a more substantive source of protein and iron than veggies and pills can provide, and often must make a more towards meats and poultry for the sake of their children. Many children turn sickly and can become malnourished under vegan diets. But, I'm sure that you'll agree that vegans are better human beings than the rest of us...just like the smug owners of hybrids.
      Don't try sugarcoat the facts with breast milk. I don't think you're going to find many 6 year olds who still want to be breastfed....)
    • Dutch,

      Thanks for the comments. I do recall that I read a piece in the NY Times a couple of years ago about a baby that died and its vegan parents were conviceted of murder and cruelty. From what I can recall, the author believed the parents ignorance about how they were doing things was the greatest issue. Its like so many other things in life. Some people can become enlightened, but if they lacked common sense in the first place, they can paint themselves in the corner like these folks apparently did. I have some friends that are vegans and they seem to be practicing a very sensible life style. It's not for everyone, but good for those, like you, that do so.
    • Mark/Berwick- Your arguments are simply misinformed.

      Berwick - Please go back and re-read the story. The family you mention in the NY Times piece only fed their infant soy milk and apple juice. A non vegan infant would die if it only drank cow's milk and apple juice. So the parents were guilty of neglect, period. It had nothing to do with the child being vegan. All babies need breast milk or formula. Regular or soy milk won't cut it. This rumor has persisted, though.

      Mark - How do you explain the actual living children that have been raised vegan? Why aren't they dead? People have figured it out, dude. Check out this resource:

      It's my belief that the increased rates of child obesity and early onset diabetes shows that our current American meat and fat-laden diet isn't working too well, so spare me the lecture on how vegan kids turn sickly. What a joke.

      Type in famous vegans in Wikipedia and tell me how sickly that group looks.

      Not cocky, Mark...just factual.
    • I just have to say that the comparisons of the new food co-op to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and the like are a bit off. The vast majority of the foods sold even at those places come from afar and are produced by corporations. They may be a step better than typical retail grocers for numerous reasons, but the new co-op will provide food produced by known local and regional farmers, not by multi-national corporations, and the organization will be committed to its community rather than turning a profit. I live nearer to TJ's and Whole Foods than I will to Pogue's Run, but I can't wait to start shopping there and plan to choose it whenever possible! While it will have to compete with the more health-conscious and even standard retail grocers in the area, it really is the first year-round choice of its kind. I hope the greater community commits to it as it plans to commit to the community!
    • Agree with Jeff. If anyone has seen Food, Inc. you know how it is important for at least some of us to support local agriculture. We buy all of our produce and recently started buying meat from the various farmer's markets, and while I love the quality it provides, it's not a year-round option. Finally, there is someplace to go in January to get locally-produced organic products.

      I live on the NE side, but will stop by here frequently on my way home from work downtown to pick up the essentials. I'm very excited for the group's commitment to the near-eastside, and I will do whatever I can to support them.
    • Kudos to my east-side neighbors who pulled this off! It came about because a core group of people believed that our community deserves better food choices than we currently have. Then hundreds of us backed the idea with our financial support. While I see there are a few nay-sayers here complaining about the location, I'm glad that many of you plan to stop by. We welcome you to the our part of town, and we hope you'll see that many good things are happening here!
    • I think the location/area is terrible, but I will still go there to support it... Areas like 10th & Rural will never get better if good citizens just avoid them.
    • Benjamin,

      I hope you don't mean that somehow good citizens don't live there now?
      Or do I misunderstand you?
    • I'll reiterate the point--it is where it is because WE, the people who started it and invested in it, purposefully CHOSE to put it there--in our own neighborhood. While we appreciate your support, please don't insult us by telling us what a horrible place we live in and how inconvenient or unsafe it is to visit. If that's what you're going to do, we'd rather you start your own co-op, in a neighborhood you feel more comfortable in. (By the way, this is just my own personal opinion as a charter member; I certainly don't speak on behalf of the organization.)
    • Well said George. Congrats to the neighborhood thus far. Best of Luck.
    • KSB, the best way to get branches elsewhere is to JOIN and SHOP on East 10th. Only when the store demonstrates a track record of achieving its plans will it be possible to attract the capital, membership base and loans to expand.
    • I think ignoring the fact that the area is challenged physically, socially and economically (or having a chip on one's shoulder about it) doesn't do anyone any good. It's not as bad as some people say, but it's also worse than some of us are willing to admit.

      I believe that good activity drives out bad, and a grocery brings a lot of good activity. As George pointed out, the board went through a lot of deliberation and there was a conscious decision to put the store on East 10th. This is part recognition of and part support for the East 10th St. Civic Association's efforts at improvement.
    • Love the co-op idea, and I like that it is located where it is. East 10th is possibly the densest commercial street in town. It needs any positive development it can get, after decades of disinvestment. And actually, the disinvestment may have accidentally preserved the historic character, as opposed to the scores of places that were leveled by Urban Renewal and the interstate highways.
    • # KSB Says:
      August 4th, 2009 at 11:37 pm


      I hope you don’t mean that somehow “good citizens” don’t live there now?
      Or do I misunderstand you?

      Have you ever spent time in this area? I work just blocks away from 10th & Rural and it's definitely full of sunshine and the hellos of friendly neighbors. Not saying good people don't exist in the area, but I experience the terrible on a daily basis. This project is a very positive step in a great direction for the area. I will be there to help support it, but there is no denying the area is in desperate need of help.. hopefully this can be a turning point, because as Kevin pointed out this area is the perfect density to redevelop.. East 10th could and should be our High St (Columbus, OH) or South St. (Philly).
    • Dutch,
      the meat idea I can understand a little more (but I'm not going to stop eating meat) but being vegan isn't exactly saving the earth.
      If we treat animals well (which a lot of the time we don't) and do it in a green fashion, I see nothing wrong with us drinking milk, eating cheese, etc.
      There is nothing wrong with being vegan, but you shouldn't go around like a tv preacher telling everyone else how wrong they are.
    • Dang. I'm thinking dutcheastindy has some kind of complex. I think that question seemed fairly innocuous.
    • I didn't say veganism kills kids...I just think it's a totally irresponsible way to raise a child. If you do it right, I guess that's okay. Doesn't bother me in the least, though. More milk, cheese, and wonderful meat for all the other not-self righteous people out there.
      And btw, I would say that, rather than meat and fat being the probable cause for childhood obesity, hormones and unnatural additives are causing the current problems, not to mention poor eating habits by parents being passed on to kids. Man has been eating meat and drinking milk for millenia...and just now they're getting fat from it? Please...

      Fortunately, organic and natural foods do not contain these lovely hormones and food additives. Yet (and unfortunately), this humble poster find organic food to be a bit too pricey for his purse at the current time...maybe this food co-op will help me cure that.
    • color me free:
      Congratulations on your project's traction! I am an east sider that refuses to commute to another part of the city to buy my soy milk. I know several developers that have been salivating over the properties along this corridor and I think your move could push them towards investing in this, what was it called in an earlier post, terrible location? And while I think your store could really benefit the community, I think it could also benefit my health! I have been aggressively trying to better my diet and eat less processed foods. Shopping at an under cared for Kroger is doing me no favors not to mention lining the pockets of people who don't really care about what I am buying and putting in my body. I don't tend to post responses on these blogs for obvious reasons (dead vegan babies on a food co-op blog? Really?) However, I wanted to say thank you and I can't wait to start supporting your venture. Will you have a deli similar to Bloomingfoods? That was my favorite place to go for lunch! BBQ Seitan *drool*! Best of luck from your friend in Bosart Brown!
    • Kudos to Indy Food Cooperative on Pogues Run Grocer, glad you got a location. There is a lot of interest in doing similar work in Fountain Square.
    • Congratulations on an exciting project in a shrewd location. I'm looking forward to seeing or hearing more as it evolves
    • Nothing makes me happier than to hear that good quality, sustainable foods are being made available to people who need. Not only do I applaud your efforts, but I will gladly help in any way that I can. This is exciting and VERY worthwhile work you are doing.
    • Rob, just to address your seasonal needs, there is also the winter farmers market at 25th and Delaware, as well as Edibles in Irvington. Two examples of people doing great work in food. This is an exciting time for food in our great city.
    • Its a great location you idiots. I live right near there. Its no wonder our view of urbanism is this crappy lifestyle-center crap. Go walk around in real parts of a city you pollyannas.
    • I'm a charter member of the co-op, and I live only a few miles away! I feel very lucky regarding the opportunity and the location...I can't wait for it to open! :-)
    • I am extremely pleased with the location. I am thrilled to have a grocery within walking distance to my home on the NEAR EAST SIDE. People do live on the near east side you know, and us people need groceries, so this is a great location! Thanks for all you are doing Indy Food Co-op! Can't wait to see the empty building utilized and get a nice place to run into after work!
    • I can't wait for this to open.
    • I have to laugh at 'experts' who carefully differentiate between human and animal in any explanation (in this case, breast milk being vegan because it's not "animal". What are we, cabbages? Stalactites?
    • Hooray!
      I live on Dequincy in Bosart-Brown neighborhood. So excited to see this happening. I am anticipating doing at least 90% of my grocery shopping here and becoming a member along with my partner.

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