Quabbin Harvest co-op grand opening set for Aug. 27
Volunteer David MacLean and Julie Robinson of the Quabbin Harvest Coop on North Main Street in Orange look over a floor plan just prior to installing the new floor. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
The layout of the Quabbin Harvest Coop in Orange and volunteers installing flooring. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
Volunteer Natasha Hanna of Orange paints woodwork in what will be an upstairs break room at the Quabbin Harvest Coop coming together on North Main Street in Orange Center. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »
ORANGE — North Quabbin Community Co-op will soon be opening its doors as Quabbin Harvest at 12 North Main St.
The grand opening is slated for Aug. 27 and store manager Julie Robinson says many volunteers are working together to get the location ready. One project was just completed and involved laying flooring tile in the 1,500 square feet of retail space.
“Lots of folks have been helping out in ripping down partitions and removing debris. We’ve had the building fully insulated and the walls repaired and painted,” Robinson reported.
Robinson says the focus will be on quality, fresh, local products including produce, baked goods, dairy, meat and cheeses. There will also be a fully stocked bulk food department as well as eight doors of frozen food items. The popular produce share program available through the current location in the Orange Innovation Center will continue to be available throughout the remainder of the summer and also in the new store.
Funding for the expansion and move has been received from several supporters. Robinson said they just received confirmation this week of their key financing from Common Capital. The co-op is also receiving funds from the Cooperative Loan Fund of New England and the North Quabbin Revolving Loan Fund. The member drive that’s been underway for quite some time brought many new owners to the coop, as the goal for that drive is only a few thousand dollars shy and will in no way hinder forward progress.
“We have many new member-owners and eager customers awaiting our opening.” Robinson says.
Food will not be the only merchandise for sale. Quabbin Harvest will also have a selection of locally made crafts that will include jewelry, woodworking, textiles and toys.
Refrigeration and shelving will arrive next. A point of sale system will be put in place, and fixtures will be installed. At that point, Robinson said, the shelves will begin to be stocked.
Volunteers are still needed to help out. Look for a sign-up sheet on the co-op’s Facebook page or check out website www.nqeats.org for updated information. A community festival and grand opening celebration is in the works for early October.