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Principle Based Community Rejuvenation

May 12, 2015 , , , ,

Truckload sale

Truckload sale

 

Tucson, the city I call home, is a large sprawling city in a valley.  Development has taken place in spurts, causing a race to the distant suburbs, followed by a race back to downtown.  There are significant advantages to life in a university town with a very mild climate.  Economic opportunity as well as cultural and educational enrichment are the city’s gifts from the University of Arizona and even from Pima College.  I live in a neighborhood close to the university and downtown as yet untouched by urban renewal that has vastly improved the city center.  Our new trolley system and upscale development along the route it serves has revitalized a sagging economic scene downtown.  I am pleased that we finally have desirable business and residential options for students and others who want to live close to the university.  With a long history of serving the community, the Food Conspiracy has grown to meet the needs of the downtown neighborhood.

The Food Conspiracy Coop was founded in 1971 by a small group of people who met in the alley behind the present storefront once a month to divide bulk food.  We used the bed of a pick up truck, in which the food was delivered, to weigh out and package our orders.  It was as crude and basic as you might imagine, but it worked.  Soon we rented the building, but had no store.  Later we opened the storefront to the public, but retained the values of our cooperative.  Today the Coop is a vibrant and vital part of the new downtown.  By sticking to the Roachdale pioneer Principles developed in 1837, the business has survived, thrived, and expanded.  The statement of cooperative identity defines the purpose:  “A cooperative is an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations, through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”

This weekend we have a chance to see how well this mission is working at a Truckload Sale.  I love the idea that on May 16 and 17  the truck will offer special deals for purchase from approximately the same spot on which we started this co-op 44 years ago in a truck.  There are now gardens, a full kitchen, and an educational space. In honor of the 7th Rochdale Principle, Concern for Community, the sale will feature a beer garden to benefit BICAS.  The store will offer 10% off, while the beef and veggie hot dogs and beer will flow in the back yard (parking lot).  Garden tours will be offered both days at noon and 5 pm.  Come on downtown to celebrate the ongoing success of the co-op.

Truckload sale

Truckload sale

 

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comments

so well written…

Liked by 1 person

Frederick Edward rehfeldt

May 12, 2015

Thanks, Cousin Rick..so good to see you here.

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Pamela Morse

May 13, 2015

“A cooperative is an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations, through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”

That statement is the ultimate, dream society.

Liked by 1 person

Marc Zazeela

May 13, 2015

You are correct, Marc, and although all of Tucson is not dreamy, this slice of it is. Thanks for your visit.

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Pamela Morse

May 13, 2015

I think it’s smart that the coop is doing this. It makes coops more accessible as well as helping others to realize it can b be done on a variety of levels.

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