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Jamaica Plain's City Feed could soon get a new owner - a worker-owned food co-op

Equal Exchange, which specializes in selling coffee, bananas and other foods from small farms around the world, is close to an agreement to buy Jamaica Plain's two City Feed and Supply stores - the original "little Feed" on Boylston Street and the larger Centre Street store.

The stores would be the first retail outlets for Equal Exchange, which mainly sells its products to supermarkets and which has three coffeehouses in Washington state, Ohio and Illinois. It has strong roots in Massachusetts, where it was founded and where it has its headquarters, in West Bridgewater. It formerly had a cafe near North Station, which closed in September. The co-op has 120 owners - all of them Equal Exchange workers.

City Feed owners Kristine Cortese and David Warner reported the news in a message to customers yesterday:

Over the course of this year we have been in conversation with Equal Exchange, discussing the possibility of Equal Exchange purchasing City Feed and Supply. The deal is not yet complete but is progressing towards completion and we wanted to let you all know before you hear it elsewhere.

We will start meeting with neighborhood groups to seek approval for transferring licensing, so the word will be getting out.

In 2017, City Feed turned to crowdfunding to buy the Little Feed building, which had been closed for repairs for several months. Cortese and Warner raised $100,000 from their fans - or $40,000 more than they had originally sought.

Equal Exchange started in 1986 and originally focused on "fair trade" coffee purchased from small farmers in Nicaragua.

Jamaica Plain has not had a co-operatively owned food market since the Harvest Co-op closed last year.

H/t Sam.

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Comments

The owner's notice seems so negative. What will the changes be to the store once this happens?

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but so happy to hear they're hanging around the city.

now if they just establish a concrete timeline for the return of the spring rolls, we'll all be ok.

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...this could not come a moment too soon for that place. Maybe EE will actually stock the shelves all the time??

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I'm addicted to their coffee so have been going there since Harvest closed. Couldn't be happier!

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you can always go to bezos foods

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And I do. But honestly I’d prefer just a decently well-stocked, locally-owned market like Formaggio’s Kitchen in Cambridge/the South End or Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville.

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Can we all acknowledge the entrepreneurial spirit, risk and dedication to the community that the Owners have made to JP over the decades instead of start right out of the gate with a negative comment? They have been here much longer than you - when the cache of JP did not exist. Would you like to try running a small business in this day and age? Do you buy your cases of almond milk from Amazon? I bet you do. These owners have given non-stop to the community: to non-profits, to schools. They provide comfy cozy spaces for take out and small-scale groceries. I couldn't do it. The margins for grocery stores are so low - people don't realize it. And especially locally-raised and cultivated items that they pride themselves on. I am really happy for them if only because it will hopefully take some stress out of their lives and I am looking forward to the new business model and will continue to support them. Gosh. Lighten up. Save your comments for the Jamaica Complain Facebook page.

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Videosmith making a comeback. Haha!

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