Co-op grocery store opportunity in downtown St. Catharines

An interesting budget meeting last night, where the Grants committee approved recommending to Council that Our Community Food Store be given a $2500 grant to help in putting together a market study on the viability of a co-op in the downtown core.

I think the goals of this group are good, and like Councillor Elliott I support the idea of a grocery option downtown.  I think the Co-op group is being prudent in conducting the market study before putting together their business plan, and lost in a lot of the conversation is the fact that even they don’t really know what form this venture may take.  While they have been very optimistic about timelines and ideas for the business, they have also been quite realistic in conversations with Councillors.  They know that market conditions will dictate what direction the project moves in.

The bottom-line, however, is that if we really want a Residential revitalization in the downtown, amenities like grocery will have to exist sooner or later.  I give a lot of credit to this group of residents for taking these important first steps.