The Ypsilanti Food Cooperative began like most food co-ops, as a buying club organized by volunteers that outgrew its borrowed church basements. We've been blessed with outstanding grassroots support throughout the more than 30 years we have served our small community. In 2005, we also acquired the bakery next door, now called the River Street Bakery.
Ypsi Food Co-op is located in the historic Depot Town neighborhood of Ypsilanti; and our building, known as the Mill Works Building, was originally a foundry that made grinding wheels for flour. While recycling and reducing waste have always been basic to our store, in 2005 we began installing solar panels on our roof to replace some of our energy consumption with renewable energy. Our rooftop solar array has now grown to more than 60 panels-providing 40% of the store's power and 100% of the bakery's-and still growing.
Our product line includes a large and varied inventory for our small size. Highlights include organic bread from our own River Street Bakery, many made with 100% Michigan flours (and baked in our wood-fired brick oven), organic bulk grains, spices and coffees, produce, hot soups, sandwiches and other deli items, homemade granola and baked goods, and many hundreds of locally grown and sourced products.
But it's more than selling groceries that keeps our community alive! Our volunteers truly excel in community outreach, fundraising, and fun special events that celebrate our unique community. We are especially proud of our organic beekeeping effort known as the Local Honey Project. This Co-op led volunteer project includes 2 hives located right at the YFC in our "Honeybee Alley," plus 6 more hives at other urban sites.
All these volunteer efforts are community-building in action, and strong evidence of the passion Ypsilanti Food Co-op folks feel for keeping good, natural, local, organic food available at a reasonable price in our town.