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Butte Food Co-op looks to add members, raise funds to move forward

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Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 12, 2021

BUTTE — An effort to start a community-owned grocery store cooperative in Butte has been approved by the state.

“We feel like we just passed a big milestone and we’re really excited to move on to the next stage. There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the community and a real can-do spirit,” said Butte Food Co-op board member Steve Thompson.

The next move is to get 1,000 people to invest in the cooperative, which plans to sell local produced foods, health foods and everyday brands. The co-op already has a board of directors and is seeking people to become life-time members by paying $50.

Organizers say a co-op store will bring pride to the community.

“There’s that esprit de corps that people have that ‘this is part of us,’ that we can decide what we want this store to be and we will be the ones that benefit from the store,” said Thompson.

Organizers need to raise $2.5 million before they can decide where the store will be located in Butte.

“We need to put the horse before the cart and that horse is we need to raise our funding,” he said.

And opening a new co-op grocery store in Butte is going to depend on getting the money, and getting the money soon in this ever-changing economic climate.

“All the sudden, real estate in Butte’s become pretty popular and contractors are a little scarce and building materials is pretty expensive. That might slow us down a little bit, we’ll see, but it’s another factor that goes into the mix,” said Thompson.

People can become a member at the Butte Food Co-op website.