Kitsap Community Food Co-Op gets new home

BREMERTON — The Kitsap Community Food Co-Op will finally have a home to call its own.

After operating for about eight months as a pop-up market inside the Sweet & Smokey Diner, the co-op is moving next door to 421 Park Avenue, the former home of Park Avenue Pets.

“We’re very, very excited,” said Erin Falcone, the co-op president. “It’s going to be a ton of work and an intense next few months, but it’s so nice to have that clear path forward to our own store.”

The food co-op will be closed briefly; it closed up shop in the diner on July 15 and is expected to partially reopen later this summer, possibly mid-August. The pop-up market will be twice the size of its space at Sweet & Smokey and partitioned off while renovations continue on the rest of the interior. A capital campaign will then be undertaken for a full build-out of the 1,300-square foot space.

The move toward a full-service store has been a long journey. The co-op was incorporated 10 years ago but struggled to get off the ground under the guidance of its national organization. The drive toward opening a huge 10,000-square-foot big-box store made fundraising difficult, especially when the need was more concentrated in downtown Bremerton, which qualified as an urban food desert — meaning a certain percentage of people lived more than one mile from a grocery store.

Taking inspiration from a co-op on Orcas Island, they opened up their spot at Sweet & Smokey, and things grew quickly from there.

“We finally had a face and a place to explain to people how we got to where we’re going,” Falcone said. “Starting small can work.”

When the new space opens, it will feature a wider selection of dry goods and bulk items, and there will be space for commercial-grade refrigeration units to stock produce and frozen goods.

In the meantime, the co-op is looking for donors and volunteers to help make fresh, affordable, healthy food in downtown Bremerton a reality.

“Every little investment makes a difference toward rebuilding this local food system,” Falcone said.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com.

More in News

Port of Bremerton plans to modernize Airport Diner

Owners Tom and Kathy Dacy have decided to discontinue their business after the remodel

Kingston fast ferry sailings canceled for the rest of Friday and all of Saturday

Backup vessel Melissa Ann has been taken out of service for emergency repairs

Kilmer’s Save Our Sound Act passes House committee

Bill would establish a Puget Sound recovery program office to coordinate restoration efforts

<em>‘Marine Supply’ is now prominently featured on the gable end of Longship Marine’s new building.		 </em>Nick Twietmeyer/Kitsap News Group
The tide rises again for Longship Marine

It’s fair winds and following seas once again for Poulsbo’s Longship Marine… Continue reading

Poulsbo brothers raise money for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital

There is a lot of news out there about kids and lemonade… Continue reading

Show your Wolves flag!

Flying the SK flag is becoming a community ‘thing’

Photo by Jana Mackin
                                Shawn Danubio, general manager of Whiskey Gulch, stands under a banner that calls social media attention to their movement to stop the city’s possible eminent domain action against the business.
                                Shawn Danubio, general manager of Whiskey Gulch, stands under a banner that calls social media attention to their movement to stop the city’s possible eminent domain action against the business. (Photo by Jana Mackin)
Pedestrian pathway project is hitting a bumpy stretch at Annapolis

Columnist Jana Mackin finds dissatisfaction with city’s process

Kitsap Rescue Mission overnight shelter to close Oct. 13

Shelter’s temporary permit set to expire amid fire safety concerns; staff seeking new location

CHI Franciscan breaks ground on new Bremerton clinic

26,000 square-foot facility will provide comprehensive primary, specialty, and urgent care services

Most Read