A co-op grocery comes to a Dayton food desert

On the corner of Salem Avenue and Superior Street in West Dayton sits a vacant building with signs advertising a former artist supply and picture framing shop. By the end of next year, this humble corner will be transformed into a co-operative grocery store selling fresh and healthy food to an underserved community.

To Lela Klein, founder and executive director of an umbrella organization that spearheaded the project, the Salem Avenue site represents an opportunity, where not only fresh food and new jobs will sprout, but an entire community will be empowered to create its own destiny.

As the first project of Co-op Dayton, the Gem City Market aims to prove the concept of worker-owned cooperatives, which meet the needs of a community while generating profits that stay locally.

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