Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017 - 7

AUTHENTIC
Leading the way through
innovation and example.
Left to right: Colleen Marsh,
Kathy Fox, and Nate Carpenter,
of the Bethlehem Food Co-op

Authentic: Bethlehem Food Co-op
I N 2 0 1 1, Jaime Karpovich of the blog
Save the Kales! was in the middle of a
recipe when she realized she needed a red
pepper. By the time she left downtown
Bethlehem and drove to the nearest
grocery store on the edge of town to get
the pepper, and finally got back home,
nearly an hour had passed. Jaime took her
complaint to Facebook, where it reached
empathetic ears.
A month later, a group of about 100
eager community members packed the
public library to discuss the creation of a
community-owned grocery store in their
neighborhood, featuring local, sustainable,
and humanely-sourced items where

possible. Later that night, Lehigh Valley
native Colleen Marsh, who had been in
attendance, launched the website for the
Bethlehem Food Co-op. "The location will
be downtown," says Colleen, now board
chair of the Co-op, "in an area currently
facing low access to fresh food."
The Co-op's timeline is dependent on
membership growth but is in line with the
typical timeline for start-ups of 5-7 years
from incorporation (which was in 2013)
to fruition. Members make a one-time
equity payment, which gives them voting
rights as well as access to a member's
benefit program that provides things
like discounts at local businesses and

discounted access to Co-op programs.
Currently there are over 420 households
already as member-owners and the
number continues to rise. But the fullservice grocery store will be for everyone,
not just members. "It's a collective,
democratically-run organization," says
Education Committee member Kathy Fox.
The Co-op's ethos extends beyond
simply owning a grocery store-it
empowers people to take ownership of
their community. As Nate Carpenter, cochair of the Education Committee, says:
"It's not about me, it's about the LV."
Learn more and become a member at
bethlehemfood.coop.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FIG AUTHENTIC AT FIGBETHLEHEM.COM

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017

Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017 - 1
Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017 - 2
Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017 - 3
Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017 - 4
Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017 - 5
Fig Bethlehem Summer 2017 - 6
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