When a group of Bloomington-Normal residents saw their local farmers trucking produce hundreds of miles away due to a lack of outlets in our community, they knew something needed to change. The option of a co-op grocery store, community-owned and locally-focused, was explored by several of these residents.
Research was conducted that concluded the Bloomington-Normal area could support a co-op. The initial group moved forward with a community meeting which drew over 100 attendees, and decided to formally begin the process of opening a co-op grocery in our community. Green Top Grocery was born!
During the summer of 2012, paperwork and incorporation as a co-op were finalized. Green Top Grocery began recruiting owners (a $200 one-time expense) in August of 2012. Also in 2012, GTG was awarded a grant by the Food Co-Op Initiative (FCI), a national non-profit designed to help co-op grocery stores open. Green Top was selected from more than 30 nationwide applicants, based on FCI’s confidence in our ability to successfully launch our co-op.
In April 2013, GTG welcomed its first employee, Katie Novak. Katie spearheaded owner recruitment efforts in her role as the part-time Outreach Manager. In May 2013, we held our first annual meeting. In June 2014, GTG surpassed a major milestone: reaching over 500 owners and allowing GTG to begin looking for our future store sites.
Green Top Grocery is a true grassroots movement. All of us — volunteers, board members, owners — are working hard to build this full-service grocery store providing locally sourced, sustainably raised food. Join us on this amazing journey and learn more about how you can help make Green Top Grocery a reality!