- Leslie Albrecht/DNAinfo
We’ve been chronicling (and railing against) the coming Windsor Terrace Walgreen’s — which will replace a neighborhood grocery store, thus rendering the area a food desert — for some time now, but what can we say, its happening. When was the last time any of you saw a large corporation not get exactly whatever the fuck it wanted, regardless of public opinion? Don’t answer that.
Anyway, there actually is still some hope for locals hoping to retain grocery options other than frozen Lean Cuisine meals, whatever pills the pharmacy will dole out, and “Pizzeria”-flavored Combos. Hope in the form of a Co-op!
A determined group of locals from Kensington and Windsor Terrace are now in the early stages of planning a neighborhood Co-op, and have already broken out the big guns, turning to the revered sages at the Park Slope Food Co-op for wisdom.
“They were extraordinarily helpful in telling us what to avoid and how to proceed,” said Jack O’Connell, who has been involved in the project since it first took seed in July. However, Park Slope old-timers warn that the process of getting a successful Co-op off the ground is slow, often taking a few years, requiring endless community outreach, significant time investment, and elusive neighborhood consensus.
“We need 300-400 members to commit time and resources to get a critical mass of people to do this,” O’Connell added, noting that the group currently has support from around 100 people in the neighborhood. “You need people who say, ‘I’m in and I’m working a certain amount of hours each month.”
For now, the would-be organization is holding meetings (the next is on October 23rd at the Knights of Columbus Hall, if you’re so inclined), and trying to decide on a specific game plan. “This is a big, enormous task,” said O’Connell. “Co-ops are highly democratic and you can never predict what a couple hundred people will say months from now.”
Well, other than “I think I’m getting scurvy, where did all the fruit and vegetables go?” Seems sorta likely at least someone will be saying that.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.