SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — By an overwhelming margin, Honest Weight Food Co-op (Albany) member-owners voted to continue exploring the prospect of opening a food cooperative in downtown Schenectady in collaboration with the Electric City Food Co-op. 191 Honest Weight member-owners attended a Special Membership Meeting held via Zoom on Sunday, May 22, 2022, for a thoughtful presentation and discussion. 149 voted yes, and 24 voted no.
This was the first membership vote to take place as the two Capital Region-based food cooperatives continue to explore a potential partnership.
Honest Weight has been successfully operating as a cooperative grocery in Albany for over 45 years. With over 10,000 owners (and growing) and nearly 200 employees, Honest Weight is on a mission to provide the community with affordable, high-quality natural foods and products for healthy living. In 2013, Honest Weight expanded to its current 30,000 square foot location at 100 Watervliet Avenue in the West Hill Neighborhood of Albany. In 2021, annual sales approached $29 million. Recent projects include opening an Honest Weight Kitchen in the concourse of Empire State Plaza and a brand-new location that is open to the public on the campus of Maria College in Albany.
The Electric City Food Co-op has been working since 2013 to bring a new cooperative market to Schenectady featuring local, organic, and sustainably produced natural foods, supporting the regional economy and helping to support a local food revolution. With 445 Member-Owners and counting, local residents have shown that there is both an interest and a need for a cooperative grocer in downtown Schenectady.
The joint exploratory committee is reviewing a potential site at 530 Liberty Street in the city of Schenectady. The site is currently occupied by OrthoNY, which plans to move to a different location in Schenectady in the near future. Further details on a potential Schenectady location will be made available when it is appropriate.
Honest Weight’s Interim Chief Cooperative Officer Stephen Quickenton described the proposed location as “a great downtown location with ample parking, right across the street from the public library, near the popular Schenectady Greenmarket, and really right in the middle of all the exciting things that downtown Schenectady has to offer.” Nearby busy roads Erie Boulevard and State Street provide high visibility and easy access from highway I-890.
“We are excited to be one step closer to realizing a downtown grocery store in Schenectady that mirrors the values and goals of both the Electric City Food Co-op and Honest Weight Food Co-op, and food cooperatives in general. These ongoing collaborative discussions have been very productive and informative. This potential location in Schenectady could be a game-changer,” said Matt Robbins, president of the Electric City Food Co-op Board of Directors.
Marketing Manager, Honest Weight Food Co-op
Board Member, Electric City Food Co-op