New South Philly co-op focuses on bringing local food to community

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A new grocery store in town opened its doors this week to help bring residents of all income levels access to fresh and local groceries.

The South Philly Food Co-op offers fresh produce from more than 20 hyper-local vendors from Philadelphia and the surrounding counties.

General manager Lori Burge said it took volunteers 10 years of organizing and fundraising to open the store. The grand opening was slated to take place earlier this year but was delayed due to the pandemic.

“After 10 hard years of work and commitment from our community members, they wanted to see more access to healthy local foods right here in the heart of South Philadelphia and so they worked together to invest in a form of a cooperative, a democratically owned business to help provide that need,” Burge explained.

Burge said the co-op is unique because it will keep residents’ grocery dollars in the community. She said they also prioritize providing quality and empowering jobs.

“We are looking to just bring good affordable food. We’re really conscious of who we buy the food from and who’s going to be buying it and I don’t think that bigger stores take that into account. We’re all very invested in the store, in its success and in the people that work and shop here,” said David Thompson, a produce manager at the store.

The store, located at 2031 S Juniper Street, is open to the public seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.