My husband Gary and I moved to Morrisville 3 years ago. We discovered Morrisville in 2009 when my youngest daughter enrolled at Johnson State College. Like many we were drawn to the area by its sheer beauty – mountains, lakes, forests, broad vistas. We dreamed of days hiking, skiing, and wandering the beautiful back roads of Vermont. Then we moved here and discovered that Vermont is about FOOD!
Through weekly trips to the farmers markets we met the local farmers and began to appreciate the true bounty of this area. Our early days of living here were filled with farm visits, one for the lamb, another for pork, and many stops for cheese. We discovered vegetable farm stands along many of those back roads, learned to love kale, and followed the local crops to ensure we were eating whatever was being picked in a given week. Food never tasted so good.
As we settled in Morrisville we also sought community. MoCo, still in its early stages, was the logical place to begin. Drawn by its mission “to create a community-owned food market, committed to the health and well-being of people, emphasizing local and organic products and supporting a dynamic community, accessible to all”, we saw it first and foremost as a way to support the farming community that surrounds us, but learned it also sustains its members by connecting us more deeply to our roots. Vermont has always been a farming state. Over the state’s history, continuing changes to the economics of farming have often disadvantaged our farmers. This is still true today. While the economics are real, Vermont farmers remain as tenacious as those first farmers toiling these rocky soils and find new ways to survive in a highly competitive world. One way is to focus on ‘keep it local’.
MoCo will keep it local. First by being a co-op. A co-op is owned by its members and represented by an elected board of directors. The membership (our friends and neighbors) has much more control over the items that appear on the shelf and the way the store operates. Our focus will be on products locally produced and food locally grown using sustainable growing practices. We will also focus on community building by providing space for conversations and educational programs where people can connect around food, health, farming, and business.
Finally, MoCo will benefit Morrisville and the surrounding communities. Any time a business like a co-op supports local food producers, it ends up supporting the other businesses in that community. Like every other business owner, farmers need supplies and services. Much of that demand will be met locally with dollars that are going to be largely spent in our local communities.
For MoCo, supporting our farmer’s means providing a market for their goods, providing customers a one-stop shop for the local bounty and enriching all our lives with healthy and local food. Supporting our members means listening to what customers want and providing opportunities for connection. Please check out our online market and plan to stop by when we open our doors in August!