It’s Customer Corner time again and we are pleased to be featuring our friends over at Weaver Street Market in North Carolina. They stand by their commitment to quality, local sourcing, and community as can be seen in the many great activities they’re working on. Read on to see what they had to say about their who they are and what they do, and be sure to check out their website, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter!
Weaver Street Market
Weaver Street Market began in 1988 and now has three stores in central North Carolina. In addition to that, we have a fourth opening in Raleigh in 2019. We’re a hybrid co-op, owned by both our customers and our workers. The four pillars of Trusted Quality, Locally Sourced, For the Community, and By the Community guide our actions and future plans.
Our team of buyers selects products with a focus on what’s fresh, healthy, and sustainable. The in-house kitchen and bakery have worked to create healthier recipes for our café. To do this, they use more whole grains and less sugar, without sacrificing taste. (Our bakery regularly wins “Best in Orange County” in the local Best of the Triangle awards.) Also, we have partnerships with local farmers and artisans, as well as organizations that work to help local producers connect with stores.
As a co-op, we’re proud to carry products from other co-ops, like Cabot Creamery, La Riojana Winery, and Maple Valley! Also, we carry fair-trade fruits, nuts, chocolate, coffee, and tea from farmer co-ops via Equal Exchange. By engaging in direct co-op to co-op trade, we pay a fair price and keep costs low for our customers.
Each of our stores is located in a walk-able downtown, helping create a vibrant community. We host free events like our summer music series and the town’s Halloween celebration. Also, we cosponsor the annual Piedmont Farm Tour, the country’s largest farm tour. And, we host semi-annual Co-op Fairs for owners to tour our production facilities and meet producers. We’re proud to be living wage certified with Orange County Living Wage.
Shoppers can choose to participate in our Round Up program to help feed hungry people in the community. All money donated through the program buys food. Several groups distribute it. These include the local food banks, schools, and groups working with schoolchildren & families in need, many of them immigrant families. Where possible, the focus is on healthy foods and fresh foods like produce and dairy. In fiscal year 2018, shoppers donated $310,405, which purchased 98,027 pounds of food for the food banks, 10,348 backpacks of food for school children, and 102,344 pounds of fresh food to families in need.
We’ve always looked for ways to be green. For example, we compost kitchen scraps with a local commercial composting company. We also work to source packaging for our in-house products that can be recycled in our county. We even have compostable straws and coffee cups in our cafes! Also, like most food co-ops, we have a bulk department where shoppers can reduce packaging waste and the environmental costs of shipping by buying from the bulk bins. Finally, in 2019, we plan to eliminate single-use shopping bags and allow shoppers to borrow “Bring It Back Sack” reusable bags.