Mustard Seed Co-op on verge of scoring new digs

Organizers with the Mustard Seed Co-op said the announcement of a location for the fledgling not-for-profit grocery store could come as soon as next week.

Location announcement could come as soon as next week, board president says

The founders of the Mustard Seed Co-op celebrated their incorporation at a potluck last fall. Pictured (from left) are directors Richard Adshead, Graham Cubitt, Emma Cubitt, Jacqueline Norton and Lynda Dykstra. (Courtesy Mustard Seed Co-op)

Organizers with the Mustard Seed Co-op say they're close to securing a location for the not-for-profit grocery store they're planning for downtown Hamilton.

"We're still working with a landlord trying to nail down the final details," said Graham Cubitt, the president of the co-op's board. "By the end of next week, we should have a full announcement."

Cubitt wouldn't say where building is located, but noted it's in the downtown area.

The project started in May, when organizers put out a survey asking Hamiltonians their thoughts on what they'd like to see in a new co-operative grocery store. The intention of the project, Cubitt said, is to provide another option for people who wish to buy locally grown, healthy foods.

"A lot of people are interested in eating local, knowing more about the food that they're eating, and getting wholesome foods," he told CBC Hamilton on Tuesday.

"We thought this a great way to bring together a whole lot of ideas that people have around local food into one business."

Co-op organizers launched a membership drive in November, aiming to enlist 800 people. Cubitt said the co-op now has 600 members and has raised $200,000 to date.

The new location isn't first organizers have considered. Cubitt said the group had come close to snagging a location in April, but were not successful.

"We had worked out a deal and we were very hopeful. But in the end, circumstances beyond our control meant that it fell though."

With a location announcement just over a week away, Cubitt said Mustard Seed organizers are "really hopeful and really excited" about the future of the project.

When asked when the Mustard Seed Co-op will be ready for shoppers, Cubitt said, "We'd love to be open before Christmas."