Client: Durham Co-op Market
Client Location: Durham, NC
CDFI: Shared Capital Cooperative
CDFI Service Area: National
Durham Co-op Market is a cooperatively owned grocery store in North Carolina that works hard to make the concept of ‘Everyone is Welcome’ a core part of its identity. This commitment is embodied in the staff: more than 60 percent of employees are people of color, 15 percent identify as queer, gay, or transgender, and 15 percent have a primary or native language other than English. In 2013, Shared Capital Cooperative provided financing to open the market’s brick-and-mortar store, later renewing the balance of the original loan for store upgrades in 2018.
Start-up food co-ops have faced intense competition in recent years, and Durham Co-op Market has proven itself, thriving as a business and delivering on its commitment to serve its community. It shows not only in the diverse staff, but also in its food equity programs, including its Food for All Program offering 20 percent discounts to anyone qualifying for SNAP benefits, weekly $3 dinners, and the market’s purchase of more than $1 million annually in products from local producers and farmers.
“Durham Co-op Market is very Durham,” said Raafe-Ahmaad Purnsley, community outreach coordinator for the market. “You come to a co-op because you’re purchasing something that is supporting a story you want to be a part of.”