Marquette Food Co-op services to be enhanced

The Marquette Food Co-op had some great news to share this week, with an announcement from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that the co-op will receive a $615,000 performance-based grant through the Michigan Community Revitalization Program along with a tax abatement from the city of Marquette worth $115,000.

The co-op has been a great asset to the Marquette area for many years, and has grown exponentially in just the last five alone. It has expanded its community outreach and was one of the driving forces in creating an Upper Peninsula-wide food exchange to help promote local farms and local food.

We think this grant from the MEDC is well-deserved.

The co-op helped revitalize a section of downtown Marquette, bringing people and business back to Baraga Avenue.

We hope its move to a larger building at 502 W. Washington St. will do the same for that portion of town, extending the reach of Marquette’s walkable downtown area even farther.

The move will certainly be a benefit to the co-op, with general manager Matt Gougeon saying in an article penned by Journal staff writer Christie Bleck for Friday’s edition that the move would add roughly 35 full-time jobs. It will also provide the co-op with a space more suited for its particular needs – and trucks will be able to unload goods through a loading dock, rather than hauling them through the co-op’s front door.

The co-op will also have a full-service deli located right next door, something it was unable to provide at its current location.

We applaud the co-op for its hard work these many years in bringing local and organic foods to the Marquette area.

We hope it continues to do so, in its new location, for many more years to come.