Pardon our pride, but here at Moravian Village of Bethlehem we know a lot about healthy living. Providing the means, motivation (and menus!) enabling our community’s residents to live healthier, active lives is a big part of what we do. And we genuinely love doing it every day.
So when we learned that a unique new store specializing in fresh, locally-sourced foods was taking shape just steps away from our campus, well, our interest in this new neighbor became hotter than a handful of habaneros.
Clearly, the new Bethlehem Food Co-op—located at 250 East Broad Street and slated to open this Fall—promises to be a lot more than just another grocery store.
Sure, shoppers will have an abundance of choices for the freshest fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, many of which are organically produced by local farmers. And, yes, the tempting aromas of oven-fresh breads, baked goods and prepared meals-to-go will naturally entice you to taste the treasures of the in-store bakery and kitchen. For added shopping convenience a full array of health, pet and household items will also be available.
But what really gets us jazzed is that the Bethlehem Food Co-op is a lot more about community spirit than any standard supermarket. As a food co-op grocery store, it is a community-owned enterprise rather than a public or private company. Open to the general public, anyone can shop in a co-op, but it is actually owned by the many community members who pay a nominal one-time equity share and then have access to healthful foods at deeply discounted rates. Family, household and group memberships in the Bethlehem Food Co-op have now exceeded 1,250 members. Undoubtedly, more will be added after the freshly stocked and staffed 6,500 sq. ft. store opens.
The Bethlehem Food Co-op will also serve as a gathering place and organizing resource for community-focused events, educational experiences, nutritional cooking classes with top local chefs, student scholarships and much more.
“Our food co-op is really by our community, for our community. We can’t wait to get our doors open and shop alongside our neighbors for fresh, healthy, reasonably priced, locally produced food,” said Carol Ritter, the Bethlehem Food Co-op’s chairwoman. She added that the new store will also be creating good-paying jobs and serve as a year-round sales outlet for local growers and producers to supply their wares.
In our view, one of the biggest benefits of the Bethlehem Food Co-op is its promise to provide more local families, Seniors, and community groups with ready access to highly nutritious foods at the lowest possible costs…and that is one of the surest pathways to build a healthier community. Salute!
We’re looking forward to the Bethlehem Food Co-op’s opening and share their tasteful vision for building a healthier, stronger Bethlehem community…one nutritious meal at a time. Welcome to the neighborhood!