Elm City Market No Longer a Consumer Cooperative

Oct 02, 2014

Elm City Market opened for business in November 2011 as New Haven’s first consumer-owned, independent local grocery store. The co-op sought to maintain a sustainable business, provide the community access to healthy, affordable food, and foster a thriving and prosperous local economy while strengthening the local and regional food system.

An unfortunate combination of construction delays, cost overruns and lower-than-anticipated sales contributed to a gradual erosion of the co-op's cash. A turnaround plan, developed by NCGA's Development Cooperative and approved by the Elm City Market board, which would have allowed the co-op to continue under community ownership was ultimately rejected by the co-op's senior lenders. On October 1, 2014, the co-op's assets were sold in an Article 9 sale.

"We’re deeply saddened by an outcome which stripped over 2,200 owners of their equity. This is the first time that a food co-op has been demutualized in such a way," said Robynn Shrader, NCGA's chief executive officer. "We hope for the community’s sake that the store is able to succeed in some way."