In 1992, after a fire destroyed our store on Cayuga Street, our membership approved our relocation to a 10,000-square-foot former Payless Shoe store in Ithaca’s West End by a 363 – 19 vote. After a tremendous effort, including the hiring of 40 staff members to operate the new location, the new store opened eight months later, to huge crowds of curious shoppers.
We barely had time to celebrate our new space before we learned that the Department of Transportation had threatened to demolish our new building to widen Buffalo Street. In the end, they decided to just slice off the northern end of the building instead, leaving the Co-op mostly unaffected, and now the rest is history!
This location remains our flagship, and the West End campus has kept growing, eventually adding The Space and Central Kitchen, administrative offices, a warehouse, and The Classrooms.