Volunteers working day and night to get People's Co-op ready for Dec. 18 opening
The People's Co-op has been in the midst of renovating and expanding its building for almost a year now. This labor of love has been a real community effort, with all sorts of people contributing their time, energy, skills, and resources. Since the Spring, the store has been doing business out of the new half of the building while the old half gets fixed up. The full store -- which will be double the size of the old one -- is scheduled to open on Wednesday, December 18. For the past few weeks the level of activity has ratcheted up as staff and community members strive to complete all the tasks necessary to open the doors: inside and outside construction work; ordering, cleaning and installing of new store fixtures; finishing the cob walls. The number of details to a project like this is mind-boggling, but Wednesday will be the day.
Volunteers are still needed to help with all sorts of projects: construction, sidewalk-building, cob-work, stocking new merchandise, and more. Stop by the store (on SE 21st at Tibbets, 1 block north of Powell) or call if you would like to help. Hours worked by members count toward their monthly totals.
Neither rain nor wind nor even darkness can stop these dedicated volunteers, who worked all day Friday on getting the 21st Ave. sidewalk put in. (A lot of paving stones remain to be laid before it will be done.)
A finished sidewalk is one of the details the city inspector insists on, and it must pass muster with him before the new store can open. The volunteers I spoke to today had varying levels of experience with such work, ranging from quite a bit to none. They were all having a good time in the mud and gravel in the rain!
Six pallets of merchandise for the expanded store arrived today as well. It took all day to check in and price these items, and they must still be stocked (on shelves that haven't been put in yet!) before Wednesday. I saw a lot of new items, including fair trade chocolate and a variety of macrobiotic foods. I'm a bulk-food guy myself, and am looking forward to seeing what will be added to that section, which will be 60% larger in the new layout!
The siding is steadily creeping up on the south side of the building. There will also be a sidewalk there, leading from the street to the new main doors, which will be in the crook of the "L" formed by the two wings of the building. The overhangs around the door area are quite generous, and will provide many a nice sit out of the rain or sun. The afternoon showers made a nice music on the shingled roofs, and I dreamt ahead to the pleasant interactions I know I'll be having with friends and neighbors there in the future.
The cob work is quite amazing. The final protective coats (and colors!) will not be added until Spring.
This tree is right next to where the front doors will be. It is a South American species, known for its healing properties. I don't care how nice they might try to make any Nature's store; the kind of style People's is using -- homegrown and springing forth from the community -- can't be beat.
I highly recommend finding some time between now and the 18th to come volunteer at People's. It's a great project that sets an example of how fruitful cooperation can be. The people are fun and you'll be making an investment in our future together.