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Natural Foods Merchandiser

City Market, Onion River Co-op's new store puts community and environment first

City Market, 2018 Retailer of the Year finalist, Creative New Store/Remodel
City Market, Onion River Co-op earned a finalist position for the Retailer of the Year Creative New Store/Remodel category. For the co-op, success is about more than the bricks and mortar.

City Market’s second store, located in the South End of Burlington, Vermont, opened for business in November 2017. In addition to the market, the $13 million, 29,000-square-foot facility includes a large indoor/outdoor café space, teaching kitchen, community meeting space and co-op offices. Patrons will find a large selection of local, organic, and conventional food, as well as Vermont-made products.
While supplying much-needed healthy food to the community and cleaning up a contaminated vacant property, the facility boasts other innovative features, many of which help protect the environment. Here are just a few ways the store breaks the mold:

For the patrons. The market is pedestrian-friendly, and offers a covered bicycle parking and maintenance area to serve cyclists. On-bicycle customers also receive a 5 percent discount on purchases through the Bicycle Benefits program.

For the environment. The store’s state-of-the-art refrigeration system—the first such system in Vermont, says director of community engagement Allison Hope—uses transcritical carbon dioxide cooling technology, consuming a fraction of the energy used in typical grocery store refrigeration. Plus, solar tubes, smart LED lighting, and high-efficiency blowers and fans further minimize electricity usage.

For the community. Surplus food is taken daily to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf to help lower income community members and minimize food waste. Customers are also asked to support Vermont nonprofits by rounding up their grocery bills to the nearest dollar. Through this “Rally for Change” program, co-op customers have donated more than $670,000 in change in less than four years. The community also benefits from low-cost classes in the new Community Teaching Kitchen.

The other Retailer of the Year Creative New Store/Remodel finalists are:

Kimberton Whole Foods
Vegan Fine Foods

The Natural Foods Merchandiser/Natural Products Expo winners will be announced Friday night at Natural Products Expo East 2018.

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