Saving with 6abc: Co-op market in Chestnut Hill

Saving with 6abc

May 25, 2010 6:09:40 AM PDT
Weavers Way Co-op Market just opened in the storefront that was Caruso's Market (8424 Germantown Avenue) for more than 100 years.

The Co-op began as a buying club in a church basement in the 1970s.

"Cost savings was the original idea behind the co-op," explains Co-op spokesman Jonathan McGoran. "Basically, people got together and said, 'You know what? Instead of spending a lot of money at the supermarket, when we don't need to, we're going to get together and send someone to the Produce Center and buy cases ourselves.' "

The co-op members are the store's owners. They pay in $30 a year for ownership shares. And they can also volunteer six hours of labor, which will net them a 5% discount at the store. But anyone can shop here.

The store stocks a lot of organic, locally-grown and Fair Trade products.

"If you compare some of our products to conventional product, it might not be cheaper," McGoran says. "But if you compare it to organic or locally-grown stuff, we do offer a really good price on it because we're a not-for-profit."

Shoppers can get big savings on items like bulk grains, beans and rice and on bulk spices. Other prices were mixed.

Regular grapefruit at $.66 each was a good deal. As were Amy's organic pizzas. They're $6.55 here, which is about a $1.50 less than the Acme price. Boca burgers are $.04 less a box, while Stacy's pita chips at $2.71 are $.28 less a bag than at Genuardi's.

But here at Weavers Way, saving money isn't the bottom line.

Rich Posmontier, who's been a member for 15 years, explains, "It's kind of the hub of the community. People get togethe. You really feel like you're part of a community." For more information about the Weavers Way co-op and the co-op market, click here.