By Brandon Kane, General Manager

In our September newsletter, GreenLeaf, we’re providing a glimpse into our new flagship store at 770 Cascadilla St., along with exciting details about the features and improvements we’ll see with its opening in early 2020.

Among its three storefronts in downtown Ithaca, Collegetown, and West End, GreenStar employs over 180 people at industry-leading wages and contributes millions of dollars to our local economy through sales of locally farmed produce and other goods. We’re also committed to supporting access to fresh, local, organic food for all with our low-income discount program, FLOWER.

GreenStar is certainly proud of its long-standing growth and impact on the Ithaca community, thanks in great part to the dedication of its increasing ownership. We look forward to the positive impact our new store will have on owners and customers, employees, and the community.

At 16,000 square feet, the new retail floor is large enough to be your one-stop shop, meeting your needs for food products, household goods, and personal-care items while still ensuring a quick and convenient shopping experience. Our Produce and Prepared Foods Departments account for about half of our new retail space, allowing us to significantly grow our offerings from local and regional farms.

Our growing business requires more employees. We estimate that our expansion will create at least 24 new full-time-equivalent jobs. Public postings for these positions have already begun, as some new positions are needed for the planning and implementation of the new store. Others will come in later — like new cashier positions to cover additional registers (we have no plans for self-check-out kiosks).

We stand committed to affordability. Our expansion plan includes growing our Co+op Basics product line at all of our stores, while offering all products at the lowest price possible.

One of our foremost goals is to deliver an expanded product line featuring more of what you love about GreenStar, whether it be the largest selection of plant-based products in town or a greater selection of sustainably raised meats from our local and regional family farms. We’re also especially excited about offering more foods specific to various cultures represented in our membership and shopper base.

To that end, we’re asking for feedback from owners, non-owners, and any willing members of the community to provide their insight through an online survey that will help us develop our product line. Please share your thoughts on goods and specific brands you’d like to see in the new store. The survey can be accessed here. It’ll be worth your while just to have a say in what you encounter in later shopping trips, but we’re also giving all survey participants a chance to win a GreenStar gift card.

I hope it’s more clear to you than ever, after reading more about what you can expect at the new store: this expansion will enhance GreenStar’s overall capacity and positive impact in every way! We’re working hard to create a relaxing shopping experience in which our entire community can come together to shop, sit down to a fresh meal, gather around a vibrant kids’ play area with exquisitely prepared espressos and smoothies, or share and learn through fun events and cooking classes at our new fully equipped teaching kitchen, all under one roof.

We’ll keep you informed on details and developments as we near opening day. We so look forward to welcoming you at the new store in just a few months!