A Marquette fixture that started as a small food-buying group in 1971 is undertaking its next major transition today - opening its new store on West Washington Street.
This tradition of the city is the Marquette Food Co-op, which held its ribbon-cutting this morning at its new headquarters at 502 W. Washington St.
The renovated building adds loads of space for the store to expand its offerings, which center on natural and organic food supplies, much of it from local sources.
Its new location is actually only a few blocks from where the co-op was located for many years - the 300 block of West Washington - prior to moving to the corner of Baraga Avenue and Front Street in downtown Marquette, where it operated for several years.
Patrons will see some added features at the co-op, including a new kitchen that will help generate a greatly expanded deli section, expanded fresh meat and seafood offerings and a classroom to increase the educational offerings of the co-op.
However, not all these aspects of the new store will be set to go today, with some finishing touches being done on the facility. Included are the hot bar of the deli that is not ready, the fresh meat selection will still be limited and the classroom needs to be finished.
In addition, some portions of the outside of the building, including the facade and roof, need to be completed and landscaping still needs to be done.
There are a few reasons behind the seemingly early move to the renovated building, including an early onset to and harsher than normal winter that slowed construction and the co-op's lease expiring on the old building.
We are confident, though, that the co-op and its membership will tackle any challenges that are faced and operate a first-class facility that will continue to expand its down-to-earth, natural contributions to the food culture of the Marquette area.