As membership grows, proposed Williamsville co-op market seeks funding for site search

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) - The group hoping to open a cooperative market in the Village of Williamsville is looking to secure additional funding that will help pay for a feasibility study to find the best possible location.

The Village Co-Op Market of Williamsville has requested a $5,000 grant from the Amherst Development Corporation. The group is expected to consider that request this week.

While the group works to find the best location, organizers say it will be within the village boundaries.

The co-op market has seen strong momentum since incorporating last summer. It has grown to nearly 70 members and has secured $7,000 in funding from Erie County.

A cooperative market is controlled by its member-owners. The Village Co-Op Market of Williamsville plans to be a food market focused on healthy, organic products that are produced by local farmers and vendors.

"Our vision really dictates that we're going to have locally sourced food from family farms, local artisans," Julie Yates explained. She serves as secretary on the co-op's board of directors. "We want healthy organic food, things that are sustainable."

The group thinks Williamsville offers great potential locations for the market.

"This is a very walkable community in the village of Williamsville," Yates said. Most board members are village residents. "What a great feeling to walk to your supermarket, know where you're getting that piece of food from and enjoy it with your other neighbors and members."

"More than just your average grocery store," Emily Murphy, the board treasurer, said. "We are really looking to make it a community space where you go in and see people you know."

The cost of a membership is a one-time investment of $150 per family. To learn more about the proposed co-op and how to become a member, you can visit its website here.

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