GCG Owner Terri Jordan is our very own journalist - interviewing people, writing stories, and sharing them with the rest of us about her experience as a volunteer. In this post from the August 28th Farmer's Market, Terri Jordan shares her meeting with local farmer, Alan LePage, who recently purchased an owner share in Granite City Grocery (GCG). Terri asked him why he decided to become an owner. And, here is what he said!
Alan is an intense and “ideological advocate” of the cooperative business paradigm, especially Agricultural Co-ops. Here’s his proof: Alan was a founding member of Hunger Mountain Coop, now in Montpelier, and is a Consumer Rep on the Board of Fedco Seeds, a ‘co-operative garden supply’ business. In 1983, Alan helped found Barre City’s own Farmers’ Market. He also said that his friend, Sandy Lory, a local herbalist who owns Mandala Botanicals, said he should join GCG [the power of friendship!]. As well as being a local, large-scale veggie grower, he also wants to see GCG come to fruition so he has a downtown grocery store where he can purchase the organic foods he now has to travel to a number of outlying stores to acquire.
Looking to the future… I asked Alan if he’d like to be a vendor at GCG. He said he’d welcome that possibility. With his background, I asked if he’d consider running for a slot on the GCG Board when elections take place. Alan considers himself an “active member” in all the organizations he belongs to and would consider a ‘run’ but also states time may be an issue for him. [Go figure – a farmer with no extra time!?]
One concern and idea that Alan shared focused on the pricing of local foods. He’d like to see GCG have minimal mark-ups on local foods, making them more affordable to more folks, and having higher mark-ups on foods from “further away”. True to his beliefs, Alan wants to see organic, healthy foods accessible to all consumers. [As Owners, we will have a voice in such decisions.]
It’s obvious that farmer LePage ‘walks-the-walk’. Know that he is donating veggies to GCG’s Sept. 15 Eat Local Cookout and plans on being present to learn more about us and to begin his personal involvement in our venture. And did you know that Alan hosts the only “interactive, horticultural radio talk show” in Vermont?! Maybe in the world?! It's called "The Curse of hte Golden Turnip". Check him out Sunday mornings on Goddard College’s radio station WGDR (91.1 & 91.7 FM) from 6-9 a.m.!
Welcome to Granite City Grocery, Alan LePage. We’re fortunate to have you.
Terri Jordan - Barre Town Resident and PROUD GCG Owner