Baltimore Food Co-Op Closed

The Remington based co-op could not succeed financially.

The Baltimore Food Co-op, which opened in Remington last summer, announced on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon that it has closed for good.

The message from Mary Cox, the co-op’s president, reads:

"It is with deep regret that I must inform you that the Baltimore Food Co-op has closed. I know I was not alone in having a dream of a vibrant food co-op owned by and serving the people of Baltimore. Many of us worked hard to achieve that dream, but unfortunately the co-op was not able to succeed financially. Thank you for your patronage, support, membership and faith during the past year."

When the co-op opened at 28th and Sisson streets last August, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake hailed it as a great way to expand food access and as a step to addressing food deserts in the city.  

“It’s sort of a one-stop shopping alternative to people who otherwise might be doing their shopping at a number of different places—Giant, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and the local farmer’s market,” Co-op board member John Segal told Patch at the time.

Baltimore Matt September 20, 2012 at 09:21 PM
To my argument that I made at last week's GRIA meeting... we can't have the fru-fru, hippy, granola, pipe dream businesses until we have some plain old meat and potatoes type places that are ready, willing, and able to spend their money and open shop. These types of niche businesses only work when there are some main staple businesses to bring people who are already engaging in commerce to the area... We need the Wal-mart, Royal Farms, home improvement warehouse store, a main stream grocery store, bars, and anything that is plain and simple BEFORE a hippy, granola, pipe dream, fru-fru, overpriced food co-op can succeed in Remington.
ralahinn1 September 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I agree with Baltimore Matt. I didn't even go to the co-op even once,though it was within walking distance, it didn't serve what I needed personally.
Kathleen C. Ambrose September 21, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Matt, I don't understand what people you want to draw to the neighborhood. Do you mean prospective homeowners? If so, I don't think the number of 7-Elevens and bars would be a major consideration for home buyers. We need better infrastructure to support commercial businesses; I was afraid to walk to the co-op because of the traffic coming off the 29th Street ramp and speeding up Sisson Street.
remington lover September 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM
im just asking...if u didnt go in even once,how do u know that it didnt serve what u needed personally?
Baltimore Matt September 21, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I have been to the co-op (it is 2 blocks from my house) and found it was a granola, pipe dream, fru-fru, overpriced hippy shop. Let's see, where do I spend my money... BJ's Wholesale, Giant Food, Sears, JC Penney, Wal-mart, Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Target, Long John's Pub, The Wine Source, 7-11, Royal Farms, etc. I don't know about you but when I have to leave the city for half of my commerce, that will draw my money to other areas, and if I see a hippy fru-fru shop that caters to my needs there I am more likely to stop since I am already engaged in commerce.
Baltimore Matt September 21, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Kathleen, I do mean perspective homeowners will be drawn to the area. If you live in a major American city you should have all of that within walking distance or at least a distance that you would be willing to take an inexpensive taxi ride or bus to. We can complain about infrastructure all we want but infrastructure will not improve until there is a compelling reason to (meaning that the infrastructure that exists is no longer adequate due to becoming completely maxed out). It sucks but it’s true. Go to the developing world and you will realize that the factories and commerce comes before the widening of the roads, addressing the gridlock, and the new subway system. If homebuyers and infrastructure is the issue then we need to allow just about all growth, in order to create an area tax base to 1) pay for the new infrastructure 2) have the infrastructure maxed out in order to make a case with the city, state, and federal governments to pay for these improvements.
Kathleen C. Ambrose September 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM
This is obviously a case of "chicken/egg." I believe if people see well-maintained parks, houses, and streets integrated with educational and entertainment establishments, they are more likely to consider moving into the area, than if they are confronted by poor lighting, trash-strewn alleys, vacant housing and dangerous intersections. As for shopping opportunities, there's always Amazon.com, and they deliver. I guess it's just a matter of perspective.
MeganJ September 30, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I went to the co-op frequently, because I wanted organic foods and fresh veggies, etc., and it was close to the house. But as much as I wanted it to be good, honestly, it always disappointed. The hours were irregular, then switched to Thurs - Sunday only, days I could have gone to a farmers market (I needed the coop Mon, Tues, Wed). And the stock was just as unreliable. It wasn't a one stop shop because they never had even one brand of tissue, toothpaste or any staples. The last thing I want to do is go to multiple stores to get everything I need, who has time for that. Even fruits and veggies were unreliable and not avail when in season. My point is that I think a better stocked store would have survived, I don't think the neighborhood is what failed here.
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