Politicians, farmers and consumers turned out on Thursday to kick off construction of the new Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op in midtown.
After the hourlong ceremony of speeches and the ceremonial digging of shovels of earth, a big rig backed onto the construction site at 28th and R streets, part of the preliminary work on the estimated $9 million store.
The new 42,000-square-foot store will be built on a former parking lot next to a light-rail line. Politicians attending the event included Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, Mayor Kevin Johnson, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento.
The new store replaces the smaller co-op market that has operated on S Street since 1988.
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To help finance the new store, members were able to buy three different types of shares, with annual dividend rates ranging from 1 percent for shares in $50 increments to 3 percent for people who bought $500 shares and agreed to hold them for at least five years.
The co-op website indicates that those stocks are sold out. The co-op sold about $1.5 million in shares in two months.
Cultrera said that the co-op plans another stock offering of nonvoting shares to co-op members. Terms of the new offering are the same as the first round.
Construction is expected to be completed in late spring 2016. A multistory garage is being built next to the new store.
“See you here in the spring,” said Cultrera.
Dru Rivers, an owner of Full Belly Farm in Yolo County’s Capay Valley, said she has been selling produce to the co-op for at least 30 years.
“Of the 100 different store and restaurants we sell to, we love selling to the co-op because they believe in us,” said Rivers. “As farmers, that is so important.”