Near East Side Grocery Co-op Quietly Closes Doors
When it was announced in March that a new frozen yogurt shop was opening at 85 Parsons Avenue, it was mentioned in passing that the former tenant was also closing. That tenant was the Near East Side Co-op, which called the location home for about a year after relocating from 1117 Oak Street.
Former Co-op Board Chair Monique McCrystal told us a year ago that the move was for financial reasons and that the new location would offer the organization lower overhead costs and better visibility. It turned out not to be enough to keep the retail concept afloat.
“Sadly, the co-op faced continued struggles following the relocation — the same challenges that the other co-ops in Columbus have faced,” said McCrystal. “The increasing availability of local and chemical free products at major retailers have made it difficult for co-op model grocers to survive.”
McCrystal clarified that her tenure with the co-op ended in late August, and that there was a membership vote in late 2015 to close the store. Outreach to more recent board leadership has gone unanswered over the past several weeks, with the only public communication consisting of a Facebook message posted on April 13th stating “NESCM is now permanently closed thank you for your support”.
While the co-op concept was unsuccessful in this iteration, the need for healthy foods in urban neighborhoods remains a real need. A recent study completed by The Food Trust, Finance Fund and the Ohio Regional Convergence Partnership, outlines the dire health issues caused for many Ohioans who live in food deserts and lack access to proper nutrition.
To read more about that report, CLICK HERE.