Urban Greens: Community Built and Stocking Up

Guest Contributor: Toyoko Schieferdecker, Urban Greens member-owner and volunteer UG blogger

We are honored that Urban Greens was awarded this year’s WBNA Neighborhood Action Award! This is truly recognition for the members who worked together over many years to achieve the opening of the co-op market. We are excited to announce that the store will be opening within weeks. It all started with a few founding members who had this vision more than 10 years ago. We really appreciate their dedication and determination!

My husband and I are member-owners of Urban Greens. I’m lately involved in creating newsletters as a volunteer. After moving to Providence a few years ago, we realized that we were surrounded by so many local farms who run their businesses humanely and ethically.

We soon started sourcing our groceries from farmers markets and farm stands. But there were many times when we couldn’t make it to our local “once a week” farmers market, and we had to shop at corporate super markets. It was a dilemma. That is when I looked for a co-op type store and found Urban Greens. After talking with current vice president Philip Trevvett at a recruiting table, we signed up on the spot. Joining Urban Greens was the opportunity to help build a one-stop local shopping experience. Once we joined and started volunteering, it was nice to meet a community of many like-minded people.

If you are a new neighbor, I would like to introduce to you Urban Greens. We are a member-owned food co-op that is located on 93 Cranston Street. The organization is run by volunteer member-owners. Our mission is to increase access to healthy and affordable food and strengthen the local food system in Rhode Island. We’ll have conventional options available too.

For serving a diverse community, we’ll include produce that are staples for a variety of cultures. The store has a room for use by meetings and classes. We want our store to be a place where the people of the community meet, gather and share information. You don’t have to be a member to shop at Urban Greens, but by becoming one, you will get access not only to discounted prices, but you will also help our community grow. And best of all, you will be a co-owner!

We are at the stage where we are taking care of the final touches. Our General Manager Janiqua Jackson is making sure that everything required is in place! If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet, please do now, because that is where we are going to announce the store opening date very soon!

Even though we have come this far, we still need more member-owners to support us. If you are waiting for the store to open to join, we hope you will consider joining now. We will need your support in order to make the opening a success and sustain the store going forward. Each member’s effort is vital to keep the business going. Being a founding member of such an important local asset is something you can take pride in. That is why we joined Urban Greens. Please join our community too! To learn more about Urban Greens, go to Urbangreens.com.