The Hub City Co-op, the first community grocery store in the state, is set to open for business in April in downtown Spartanburg.
That means fresh, local food will soon be available in downtown Spartanburg on a daily basis.
The co-op is still being built but organizers are excited to set up amenities like a café and hot bar as well as offer many local products and unique brands.
The supermarket looks like rows of empty shelves clumped together carts and people having serious conversations.
General Manager Garland McQueen said the addition of the co-op to a space that was abandoned for years will help bring new life to Spartanburg.
“Our building is a big benefit to the revitalization of downtown Spartanburg. The building is eighty something years old and it’s been here for 40 years. Look what we’ve done to it,” said McQueen.
McQueen has traveled the country setting up grocery stores owned by the community but he exec said this one is special to him because he’s from Clemson.
Operations Manager Mandy Musgrove said the space will be an outlet for smaller, local farmers and vendors to sell their products to a bigger crowd.
“We have a few vendors where this is the first place they’ll sell their product,” said Musgrove.
It’s to cater to what food service manager Mike Drill said, is a new type of shopper here in the Upstate and especially in Spartanburg.
“Were not going to be using processed foods not precooked stuff not many cans getting opened and put on a steam table everything will be made in house,” Drill said.
The store has more than a thousand founding owners, or people who paid the $150 fee to become a member at the co-op.
Anyone can visit the co-op and go to customer service to join.
Members get discounts on purchases and depending on the store’s profit and how much you spend, a patrons rebate.
Customer service manager Joey Suarez says you’re paying for a great experience.
“We’ll have different people come and do samplings to promote their products we can try those things and we’ll have some classes, how to shop on a budget meal planning,” Suarez said.
Organizers said the cooperative was also funded through loans and gifts from investors.
This is on top of a matched donation from the City of Spartanburg.