Prairie Roots Food Co-op Celebrates One Year in Town
More than 2,000 households invest in the store and nearly 30 farmers sell their product there
FARGO, N.D. — Customers who shop at Prairie Roots Food Co–op keep coming back for more because they know where all their food was grown.
“When you look at carrots on the shelf and can go ‘Hey I know the person who grew those,” it’s something different than just buying a grocery store carrot,” said Kaye Kirsch, the store’s general manager.
That special distinction is part of why the co–op is now celebrating their first birthday with all the customers who can’t seem to get enough of locally grown, healthy food.
“I think when it sits on a truck for three, four, five days, you lose a lot of nutrition. I just like that it didn’t travel so far. It tastes better,” said Tracy Kuznia, who shops at the store.
“Not only is my food not traveling as far, you get a fresher produce at the co–op here. It’s also a great outlet for me, it gives me extra advertising, by selling my produce here at this store and it’s just a great way to increase access,” said Bjorn Solberg, who is a farmer at Hugh’s Gardens in Halstad, Minn.
Nearly 30 other farmers also have their product on the co–op’s shelves and over 2,000 households have invested in the store since it opened its doors last summer. But before then, the area was a “food desert.”
“The USDA food desert definition said it’s difficult to find great food in this neighborhood. So, we were so excited to open a community owned grocery store that focuses on local things. We’re a locally owned business, we’re driving the local economy,” Kirsch said.
Now that the store has been contributing to all things local for 365 days, it could mean some big things are in store for the future.
“We think Fargo–Moorhead has the capacity for multiple co–op locations so we’d love to look at that opportunity in the future,” Kirsch said.
For now, customers just want to say a “job well done.”
“Congratulations and thanks for doing it.”
And to let them eat cake.
The co–op will continue the celebration all weekend, including on Saturday where you can blend your own smoothie using a bicycle.