Thursday, August 27, 2009

Staff will get stake in grocery

From HSV Times, this seems like it might be a good thing!!!!

Food Bank plans worker-owned market for Terry Heights area

A grocery store unlike any other in Huntsville is coming to a vacant lot near the Terry Heights neighborhood.

As part of its mission to stamp out hunger and poverty, the nonprofit Food Bank of North Alabama is leading an effort to build the state's first worker-owned community market on Pulaski Pike.

Unlike chain supermarkets, the 6,000-square-foot Pulaski Pike Market will focus on fruits and vegetables grown in North Alabama using environmentally friendly farm practices.

"Why truck in produce 2,000 miles away from California when we have that ability here?" Kathryn Strickland, the Food Bank's director of community food security, asked Friday.

Along with fresh local produce, the market plans to offer special foods for people with diabetes and high blood pressure. Strickland said a recent study found that 21 percent of Terry Heights residents are diabetic.

The market's 20 or so employees will be owner-operators who share in the profits. That worker-cooperative business model has flourished in parts of Europe and the U.S. for decades but is new to Alabama.

"It gives the workers a chance to build wealth and long-term equity," Strickland said. "No matter what position you have in the store, you have one share and one vote.

"If there are profits generated, the worker-owners would decide how they are distributed."

Scheduled to open in summer 2010, the market will be built on 1.2 acres owned by the city on Pulaski just north of Holmes Avenue.

Under a contract approved Thursday by the City Council, the market will lease the site for $10 a year. It may also qualify for more than $300,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money to buy freezers and other startup equipment.

Strickland said the market is a response to a 2007 "needs assessment" of the blue-collar Terry Heights, Hillandale and Sparkman Homes areas west of downtown....


Anonymous said...

I hope we will all support this initiative. Perhaps as it succeeds more will be planned.

clintpatty said...


Tyler said...

You mean they want provide locally grown healthy food to low income people who will own the grocery store. Sounds like socialism to me.

Tyler said...

We probably Should all shop at walmart and buy shitty unsustanable produced farmed and grown by big shot coporate millionair farmers. But I will definitly get my produce from this place,

Bello Velo said...

Very exciting!!!! I can't wait to go.

clintpatty said...

It doesn't sound like socialism to me. It sounds like people will choose to participate in it or shop there. It sounds like capitalism not being abused and no CEOs making way more than they're worth to the company.

Tyler said...

Sarcasm never translates well

Bello Velo said...

There is nothing wrong with socialism regardless of whether this is an example of it or not. There are plenty of places in the world which are socialist or have power sharing governments across many different ideologies.

We have a two party system in this country where other parties are excluded because of financial barriers and a less sophisticated and informed citizenry.

Also since it is a non profit there is no CEO generally. It is actually more like a cooperative. Which has strong roots in socialism. Look up worker cooperatives. This does not fall under the ideology of capitalism. It does not have the same heirarchy or structure.

When will we stop fearing ideas and do something to make this place one that I and a lot of others would want to live in? I for one think this is a great idea and plan to support it. No churches, no chains, just doing the right thing regardless.

As a note wouldn't a country be considered free that allows all ideologies be heard and to participate?

Tyler said...

They should staff the store with people who live in the area

Anonymous said...

A worker cooperative is a cooperative owned and democratically controlled by its worker-owners.

Bello Velo said...

I got the sarcasm:)

clintpatty said...

"As a note wouldn't a country be considered free that allows all ideologies be heard and to participate?"

This is the kind of system that I would like. Socialism doesn't allow that. I don't of a country that has really had a free market capitalist system with no government involvement, so I can't say if it would or not. But I'm all for this kind of stuff happening here, and I would shop at that grocery store.

Bello Velo said...

England actually social democrat and allows all parties at the table. Same with France and Ireland they have communists, labour, tories, social democrats.

Free market or laissez faire capitalism does not allow that by it's very nature. That is the system we are in and have been.

I think you might be confusing this with Marxist-Leninist States also known as Communist States.

America does however have the Democratic Socialists of America party but has no representation and no electoral party. Therefore it is consider a fringe group.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism is an economic system not a political ideology or form of government.(by definition)

Democracy, Socialism, Communism are forms of government.

We should be clear on this governments are about people.

Anonymous said...

I agree that they should get the staff out of the area....This may help educate more people in the area to shop more local then going to Walmart.

Anonymous said...

re Anon:
That's what I was saying. Capitalism allows this supermarket along with Wal Mart. And it's not free market. The government has been involved with the market since the start, and heavily since the railroads. It's half ass capitalism and not a free market.


Bello Velo said...

I don't agree and capitalism is an economic system. what your belief lacks is social and it is a government by the people and for the people. not a stat and not run like a business.

Believe me Ron Pauls economic system or plan is cut from the same Milton Freidman Cloth (Chicago School of Economics the creator of laissez faire economics), they have been creeping it in year after year. Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Too early to tell.

Sorry dude we are humans, not commodities.

We should stop you will never convince me and I have likely not influenced you either.

we can still like bikes and hummus:)

Leela the Kid said...

I'm really excited about this grocery store. it's just what communities in this city need - just wish it were coming sooner. in the meantime I highly recommend Wes Graham's produce from Late Harvest Farm in New Hope. He has okra, basil, tomatoes, peppers, etc. right now and will have greens and such later in the season He sells them at Lowe Mill from 12-4 on Saturdays and at the courthouse square downtown near cotton row restaurant on tuesdays and thursdays 4-7pm. His prices are fair, his produce high quality and pesticide free, and he always has great ideas for how to serve the different veggies. here's his email for more info