Monday, 02 June 2014 15:02
By Kristie Snyder,
When the Women's Community Building was demolished in 2012, GreenStar didn't feel the loss of the community gathering space as keenly as other area organizations. With a recently purchased warehouse property sitting partially vacant, the Co-op simply relocated their Member Meetings and other events (many of which had been held for years at the WCB) to that space. It was hardly inviting — with block walls, bare concrete floors, little to no insulation, and no air conditioning — but it was spacious. Other organizations that had depended on the WCB community room weren't as lucky.
Two years later, GreenStar is opening a new community gathering space — that bare-bones warehouse has been transformed into The Space @ GreenStar, an elegant, 3,420 square-foot gathering space that can accommodate up to 228 people. Outfitted with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and set up for in-house catering by the GreenStar kitchen, the Space is now available to rent for functions ranging from wedding receptions to business meetings, band performances to birthday parties, church gatherings to art fairs.
The decision to renovate The Space came easily. The Co-op's new central kitchen plan left a portion of the warehouse property at 700 West Buffalo Street empty, while the need in the community for an affordable gathering space was evident. "The loss of the Women's Community Building really created a hole in the community," said GreenStar General Manager Brandon Kane. "That rental space had been used by all sorts of organizations." So the Co-op created The Space — its name kept deliberately vague, so as not to limit the possibilities. In addition to making The Space available to the community, the Co-op will use it for its own events. "We've always been more than just a grocery store," said Joe Romano, GreenStar's Marketing Manager. "Now we actually have a space where we can have events and bring in other community members in a way that just wasn't possible before."
Thursday, 03 April 2014 18:31
By Kristie Snyder,
Remember back when GreenStar gave you a nickel for each reusable bag that you brought from home to use at the store? That concept is back... with a twist. Beginning April 11, for every bag that a shopper brings to reuse at the registers, he or she will be rewarded with not a nickel back, but the ability to donate that nickel to a local community organization.
Of course, if you don't remember to BYO-bag, we'll still have paper and reusable cloth bags at the registers for you. But if you do remember, you'll be given a wooden token for each bag used. On your way out of the store, pick one of three local non-profit organizations presented near the Customer Service desk, toss your tokens into the box, and your donations will be tallied up and made to each organization at the end of each month. (Fun trivia fact: the tokens are themselves reclaimed from the waste stream. They are unused seconds manufactured for businesses like bars, casinos, campaigns, various tourist traps, and who-knows-what else. Each one will be a surprise!)
According to Joe, the program is based on similar bag reuse/donation programs at other co-ops, such as the Port Townsend Food Co-op in Washington state and the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op in Corvallis, Oregon. "This is a great way to kick off our 12 Days of Earth Day," says Joe, "and we love being able to simultaneously look out for the Earth and take care of our local non-profits."
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