The Beechworth Food Co-op has been relaunched in the town’s former railway station building.
Beginning in 2015, the not-for-profit group had been housed in an obscure shop in Gilchrist Avenue but secured the new location on Harper Avenue earlier this year.
Co-op president Jade Miles said the move had followed 18 months of talks with Indigo Council and was spurred by growth.
“We’ve worked with Beechworth Correction Centre to clean up the building and plant it up with herbs,” she said. “We have the head lease on the whole space and we have two rooms now open to community use.
“Into Our Hands foundation gave us a grant to do the little things like paying for paint and planning application – and a $10,000 grant from them last year helped us move.
“We’ve been able to turn one of the little rooms in the building into a walk-in refrigerator, for our new weekly eater-grower meets.
“The new co-op venue will allow us to role out a whole range of new and exciting initiatives we’ve been hoping to deliver for the last two years.”
The Beechworth Food Co-op is a member-owned and operated initiative which sources local, mostly organic and minimally packaged food, which started with 60 members and 60 products and now involves more than 800 members, 35 volunteers, and 500 different products.
In the first two years, $136,000 was paid to 24 local growers.
Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis was at the co-op yesterday to cut the ribbon of the new shop and speak with members.