Green Fields looking for bigger spot in town
GREENFIELD — Franklin Community Cooperative is looking for a bigger space for Green Fields Market.
According to David Russell, the cooperative’s information technology manager, the market has outgrown its current space on Main Street. The store is 5,100 square feet, and the entire two-story building, owned by FCC, is 11,000 square feet.
Russell said more information about the search for a larger space will follow next week, after FCC’s board meets. He would not say how much larger a space it is looking for at this point.
Russell said FCC is in negotiations with multiple building owners, and that it plans to keep the market in Greenfield.
“The timeline is uncertain, though, because we still have some planning to do,” said Russell.
He said the market’s general manager, Dwight Gaddis, recently resigned and Operations Manager Rob Levengood is acting as FCC’s temporary general manager, so that has slowed things down a bit.
“Our transition plan is being worked out and should be done by next week,” he said. “Then, we’ll be putting our efforts into the expansion.”
Russell said details will soon be shared with Green Fields Market staff and members, as well as with the community.
He said moving to a larger space will “allow greater efficiency, the ability to grow in sales and purchasing, enable FCC to hire more local people and provide an opportunity for development for existing staff.”
FCC has 89 employees and 2,250 members. It owns both Green Fields Market and McCusker’s Market in Shelburne Falls.
“We are hoping to make this a smooth transition,” said Russell.
In May 1986, the much smaller Montague Food Co-op, which was located in Turners Falls, became Franklin Community Cooperative, and in 1987 it moved to Chapman Street in Greenfield, where it stayed until 1993, when it bought the former J.C. Penney building, where it is today.
The building was renovated and in November 1993, FCC moved in.
In 2007, when Michael McCusker decided to sell his market, the cooperative bought it.
Patti Waters, who stepped down as manager of FCC in March, said in an interview earlier this year that the cooperative made about $50,000 a year in the early days, and today, the two stores together were making about $8 million a year.