By: Claire Frego
Recently opened Gem City Market is striving to be Dayton’s newest gem when it comes to helping the city turn to more sustainable food options and increasing job resources. Located at 324 Salem Avenue, this grocery store is placed just north of the city and a short four minute drive from the Fire Blocks District. Gem City Market plans to welcome the public and employ fellow members of the Dayton community in an effort to fill the gaps where there are no resources left. The affordable, yet high quality products, will help individuals build a healthier lifestyle, while also strengthening the community bond that is present throughout the store.
Behind the scenes, Co-op Dayton is the organization that triggered this idea and valued the ability to give community members a chance to partake in the movement towards a more sustainable lifestyle. The organization has been in the works since 2015, addressing the multitude of issues that have sparked from Dayton’s food drought.
Co-op Dayton’s mindset behind Gem City Market was creating an economy that would support the Greater Dayton community and prioritize those who live and work within the city. Additionally, addressing the food crisis and continuing to motivate others to work towards relinquishing the drought is a mission that will live on at Gem City Market.
Not only does the grocery store hold premium products, but there are also other resources that are open for the community. Just inside, you can find a coffeehouse, mini health clinic, community room and classes and programs on nutrition, health and other related topics.
Gem City Market also holds the benefits of becoming a member-owner. Because the store was built by the community, it is also owned by the community. Those who choose to purchase a membership will experience perks such as the ability to vote at meetings, run for the board of directors and store discounts. To become a member-owner, individuals can purchase a share for $100. There are also different options for those who seek to contribute a lower payment. For those who are interested in finding out more details about the member-owner program, make sure to check out Gem City Market’s website or give the store a visit and talk with the friendly staff.
As of May 12, Gem City Market’s doors are open and excited to start serving the Dayton community. This 3.9 million dollar project has been in the works for several years, and the board of directions are hopeful that this community co-op grocery store will bring success to the local community. The mix of organic products, community workers and a warm environment might just result in the best recipe on how to promote sustainable living within a city. Gem City Market is open daily from 7 am- 9 pm, so make sure to give a visit to Dayton’s newest charm.