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Editorial: Better location

We think there should be no hesitation when it comes to the idea of the North Quabbin Community Cooperative moving to downtown storefront.

After all, isn’t “location, location, location” considered to be a real estate principle that has been around for decades?

If the food co-op — which serves Orange, Athol and other communities in the North Quabbin area — truly wants to gain greater visibility and therefore greater interest amongst residents, then a prominent downtown location should be a given.

Recent grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency and Common Capital, a nonprofit organization focused on local economies, not only come at a critical juncture in the co-op’s future but provide money that can be directed toward a specific and key component: just what has to happen to make this transformation occur.

One requirement that’s needed, and that the co-op leadership is already aware of, is the need to raise the capital for the move and creation of its new home. It’s encouraging to see that the board has already started a membership campaign with the aim of swelling the all-volunteer ranks to 350 volunteers, with a secondary goal of raising at least $50,000.

Although raising that kind of money is never easy, we would like to think that there are enough people in the nine towns served directly by this co-op and, for that matter, in neighboring communities who see substantial value in having such an operation in the North Quabbin region.

And having a larger base in downtown Orange wouldn’t just benefit the co-op, its members and customers, it would prove advantageous to Orange as well. As U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D.Worcester, said during the press conference announcing the grant money, “Such a location would not only anchor the downtown but also increase the co-op’s visibility and expand opportunities for growth.”

Could such a move actually take place by the end of the year? That’s what the co-op board would like and we would think it a reasonable goal as long as everyone does their part.

Get involved, join the co-op and make this move a success.

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