West Colfax Food Co-op

West Colfax, Denver

The West Colfax Business Improvement District (BID) completed due diligence on whether a grocery store would be viable in the West Colfax neighborhood. In 2014, they first reached out to Evergreen Devco, Inc., a developer focused on retail grocery stores, who evaluated the demand in the context of supply by a major grocery retailer, as well as parcels feasible for a building footprint that would work for a large grocery retailer. Based on this exercise, the developer determined that no grocery store chain would be interested in locating in the West Colfax neighborhood. Seeing need and no desire for the market to supply, the BID took the lead in organizing a group of interested individuals to begin evaluating the feasibility of a consumer food cooperative. In later 2015, the group received a Strengthening Communities grant from the Denver Foundation to fund organization and planning activities. The West Colfax Food Cooperative incorporated and established a board with by-laws in early 2016. Later that year the Food Coop received a grant from the national Food Co-op Initiative to complete a market feasibility study and a larger grant from the Denver Foundation to hire a part-time Program Manager. According to their website, the West Colfax Community Co-op is envisioned to be a community owned grocery store which provides equitable access to fresh food and celebrates West Denver’s culinary and cultural diversity. To achieve their mission, the West Colfax Community Co-op will abide by the following values: fresh, healthy, affordable food in West Colfax, local whenever possible and community-centered, economically self-sustaining, celebrating culinary and cultural diversity in an inclusive, welcoming and collaborative environment, and efficient, convenient and waste reducing. In addition to food, the for-profit entity is seeking nonprofit partners to provide community support and enhancement activities, such as nutritional educational classes, nutritional outreach, co-op scholarship, food job training, and cooking classes.