TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Officials with Terre Haute cooperative market, Terre Foods, have found their brick and mortar home after a 14-year-long process.
Terre Foods will move to the Amy’s Corner Mall building along Lafayette Avenue in 12 Points, and the plan is to open to the public by summer.
Terre Foods board members talk about the move to 12 Points
Terre Foods is a cooperative market, meaning it’s member-owned. Currently there are just over 800 members, but officials hope that number will soon jump to 1,000. Members make a one-time payment of $200 per household.
Currently, there are no grocery stores in the 12 Points area making it a food desert, which Terre Foods will change.
“We were at a point where it was going to happen, or the whole things wasn’t going to happen at all, right? So this was a very serendipitous situation that this building just kind of fell into our laps,” president of the Terre Foods Board, Josh Price, said.
Price says over the years, the group has seen many board members come and go.
“We’ve just worked so hard and it’s been so difficult to find that perfect fit.”
Terre Foods board president, Josh Price, says finding cooperative market location took years
The perfit fit being Amy’s Corner Mall, a 10,000 sq. foot, open-concept store. Price says they will take possession of the building April 15, however, a lot of work is needed even after the market opens, which is planned for this summer.
“Obviously at that point in time, we’re not going to be the full service grocery we’re aspiring to be, but we’re hoping we can take advantage of the growing season with local producers this summer,” Price said.
Terre Foods board members say they plan to open cooperative market “slowly”
One local producer and board member who will sell to Terre Foods is Laurie Elliott, owner of The Pickery.
“Like many Terre Hautians, we had our doubts, but I’ve always been looking forward to it, but now that they’re going to open a store, I’m excited,” Elliott said.
Elliott has owned The Pickery for seven years after she decided to move away from her accounting career and start a farm. She sells at the Farmer’s Market and from The Pickery along Margaret Avenue, but soon will sell to Terre Foods.
“It’s another way for people to get organic local produce, tastier, more nutritious produce, so it will be another place for that to be available.”
The Pickery owner, Laurie Elliot, talks about being a certified organic farm
Elliott says the co-op will benefit the community in a variety of ways.
“It means the beginning of a stronger local food system where farmers and consumers can both be a part of the circle where we can provide food and supply food, ” she noted. “So it insulates us from any potential interruption in food supply.”
There will be around 30 parking spots available at this location. Officials also plan to have 20 jobs available at their new store in the long-term, but for now, Price says volunteers are critical to their success.
Price says they are looking for people to pledge loans to Terre Foods. Any interested vendors can reach out to the organization.