- Morrisville Food Co-op rendering
On an otherwise quiet Monday morning in Morrisville, heavy machinery began ripping up concrete in front of 46 Pleasant Street, where the new Morrisville Food Co-op — already known as MoCo — will open this fall. At a ceremonial groundbreaking on May 11, several dozen people gathered to support the long-awaited project, including MoCo board president Sarah Thomas.
"The board feels that MoCo will be a great addition to downtown Morrisville [because] co-ops invest in their communities," she said. Thomas underscored her point with numbers: Since co-ops use products from area farmers and producers, they claim an economic multiplier of 1.6, while conventional grocery stores hover around 1.36. So every $1,000 spent at a co-op like MoCo will generate $1,604 in local economic activity — $239 more than that same chunk of cash spent at a supermarket.
With 169 member-farmers and producers in Lamoille County, MoCo aims to become an essential support system for the area, boosting the agricultural economy and improving food access for the surrounding population. MoCo's Membership Assistance Fund offers half off the $200 fee for prospective low-income members, who can then pay their balance in monthly increments as low as $10.
The soon-to-be renovated storefront — formerly a consignment store, furniture store and state unemployment office — sits across from a municipal parking lot; its central location will also allow many locals access by foot.
With Morrisville's two conventional grocery stores located on the fringes of town, MoCo's arrival marks the return of a full-service grocery to the main village — the first since the early 1980s. It will offer dry groceries, meat, dairy, produce and frozen food, as well as a deli, a grab-and-go section and a seating area. Due to its relationship with nearby farmers, Thomas noted, the store will offer a varied selection of natural, organic and locally sourced provisions.