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Organizers of planned Butte co-op remain optimistic amid challenges of securing a location

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jan 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 11:36:48-05

BUTTE — It’s been nearly five years since it was first proposed to open a community-owned Co-op grocery store somewhere in Butte. Organizers say that dream is still alive, but they’re facing the challenge of finding the right location.

“We’re really trying to secure a location and that’s really the hardest egg too, the hardest nut to crack,” said Butte Co-op Treasurer Leo Prigge.

Since 2019, the Butte Co-op has had about 850 local investors in a project to start a grocery store in Butte. The co-op board is looking into several locations to lease a building or purchase land to construct a building, but nothing has been secured yet.

“We’ve actually had two or three instances over the past couple years where we’ve had offers into buildings to buy property, enter into lease negotiations to property. Things have fallen through; like I said, it’s a tough process,” said Prigge.

The board is looking for locations that are highly visible, accessible, and have plenty of parking. Many people support another option for groceries in Butte.

“Particularly, I hope it will have a presence in Uptown here for lack of grocery stores up here, but I think wherever it is it will be good for the community,” said Butte resident Tim Dick.

It could take a few more years before the store is up and running, but the board is confident it will happen.

“It’s been a lot of work and I don’t think any of us would be doing that work if we didn’t think this thing was going to happen,” said Prigge.

A representative from the co-op is expected to give the Butte Council of Commissioners an update on the project at its Feb. 7 meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Butte-Silver Bow Courthouse.