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....