After 7 years of visioning, planning and construction, our 2nd store at 1678 Hertel Ave is open. July 12 was a whirlwind day for the Lexington Co-op as we officially said “Hello Hertel” and opened the doors to your second store.
More than 200 people were lined up before 7am, some as early as 4:45am to get a peek at their new store. The first 100 were rewarded with free Co-op coffee for a year. When it was time to open the doors a paper chain was cut and the celebration began! It was a great day as we welcomed our friends, family, and neighbors through the doors. Those there at the right time were treated to Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats, BreadHive pretzels, and sushi. Don’t worry, there will be plenty more exciting demos to come!
Our Hertel Ave location will be open daily from 7am-11pm, just like on Elmwood. If you haven’t stopped by yet- we hope to see you there soon!
Check out some of the news coverage from Opening Day…
Message from Tim
Hertel is open because of our owners. Our co-op exists solely to provide services to our local owners and customers, and we selected this site because nearly 2,000 of you live in the neighborhoods near the store. Hertel is open because 403 of you invested over $2 million to finance this new store. This co-op and this store is a community accomplishment and we thank you for making it happen.
Hertel is open because of our farmers and producers. Western New York has some of the best soil in the world, and some of the best farmers as well. We have been fortunate through our history to work with many of these farmers and producers to bring the best local foods to our customers. Last year, we were excited to purchase $1.5 million from local farmers & producers, and we expect that number to double with the opening of our Hertel store. Last Thursday, Tim and Rachel Grant dropped off two grass-fed cows at Hertel. “We’ve been growing our herd to prepare for this,” Tim told me, “We’re ready.” Lexington’s growth has allowed them to build a house on their farm. BreadHive recently expanded their wholesale operation in part to prepare for our 2nd store. These are just a few of the stories of producers who contribute to and benefit from the growth of the Co-op. Our Co-op thrives because of all the good people growing and making delicious food for us to sell, and we thank you for it.
Hertel is open because of our excellent and dedicated staff and support team. We are grateful for our project team that developed this store from scratch. We are grateful to all the co-ops nationwide who we have learned from through the years. To the service providers like PUSH Buffalo, who take our compost and turn it into rich soil for community gardens. And we are grateful to the Board and staff who have worked tirelessly to create a great store for our community and who have worked extra hard to open this 2nd store. Our co-op is thriving because of all of you.
Through our owners, our farmers, and our staff, our Co-op strengthens our local economy and community. Last year 56 cents of every dollar you spent in our store was returned to the Western New York economy. We are excited to get this number to $10 million within the next few years. In preparation for opening, we’re thrilled to report that we’ve lowered prices on 900 items throughout the store by an average of 84 cents. A part of our BIG Direction is our Balance Strategy, which states that while we grow, we will strive to balance the needs of our primary stakeholders, with fair prices to customers, fair wages for staff and fair prices for farmers. There is much more work to be one as we seek to find that balance, but we are excited to take this step.
We ask you to help the co-op thrive in our new home. Invite friends and family to become owners. Take a lawn sign and canvas bag and show your Co-op pride. Encourage friendly, hardworking people to apply for jobs. This new store will only succeed if we all work together to make it happen. Tell us what you love and how we can get better. And be patient with us while we learn to operate our brand new store.
We are all the stewards of this Co-op, helping it to grow and improve during our time before we pass it on to the next generation. Thank you all for bringing this exciting new store to life.
Tim Bartlett, General Manager