///

Weavers Way Launches Germantown Store

Start

After three years of planning and several unexpected delays, Weavers Way Co-op celebrated the opening of their new Germantown location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.

“I’ve been crying for two days, tears of joy,” says Jon Roesser, General Manager of Weavers Way. “It’s amazing the way the community has been so welcoming to us. I’m on cloud nine.”

The ceremony, which took place in the new store’s parking lot, featured remarks by representatives from Congressman Dwight Evans’s office, as well as numerous state representatives and others involved in opening the new location.

PA State Representative Charles Rabb (light blue jacket), Philadelphia City Councilmember Cindy Bass (pink jacket) and other officials cut the ribbon at the new Weaver’s Way store in Germantown. Photo by Amber X. Chen.

Founded in 1973 in Mount Airy, Weavers Way is a cooperative, member-owned grocery store that features a wide variety of fresh and sustainable produce and products from local sources and small businesses, as well as an assortment of zero-waste options. The Germantown store is Weavers Way’s fourth location.

“It’s important that we invest in these types of socially responsible businesses that have the most meaningful impact on whole communities,” State Representative Chris Rabb, who serves Philadelphia’s 200th legislative district, said at the ceremony. “This is so much more important than whatever the next Walmart wants to do.”

Germantown, a majority-Black neighborhood, is a known food desert. According to “Neighborhood Food Retail in Philadelphia,” a 2019 City report that measures grocery store access in the city, the neighborhood surrounding Chelten Avenue and Morris Street — where the new Weavers Way store is located — has limited access to fresh produce. Because of this, most residents have been forced to outsource their grocery shopping to surrounding neighborhoods.

“We have Weavers Way in Chestnut Hill which is a very affluent, predominantly white district. We have one in West Mount Airy which is also fairly affluent, but we need ones in communities that are Black and Brown,” Representative Rabb added. “And this is a form of wealth, because you can’t have true health without sustaining food.”

In addition to providing the community with healthy and sustainable food options, the new Weavers Way location also brings in 40 new full-time jobs, as well as a mutual-aid community fridge and a 15% discount for low-income households.

“We get approached about opening up stores in awesome communities all the time, like Center City, South Jersey, but we don’t have members — or very few members — in those communities. Because we don’t operate our business for profit, we expand to meet our members’ needs,” Roesser says. “We already had over 1,000 members who lived in [Germantown] who were shopping at our other stores, so this was a natural place for us to expand to.”

The store sits on a formerly blighted building that had been vacant for 10 years. Before that, the site had hosted an Acme. $8 million was raised to fund the project: City Councilmember Cindy Bass’s office — which represents Philadelphia’s eighth district, including Germantown — raised $1 million dollars through the City’s commerce department. Weavers Way also received $1 million in state redevelopment funds and a $1.5 million grant from the federal government. However, most of the store’s fundraising came from co-op members from in and around the Germantown community.

Weavers Way Germantown will host a grand opening public celebration on June 15 and 16.

1 Comment

  1. Im sorry but this is just solidifying the gentrification already happening in that section of Germantown, ive visited this store a few time so far and its clear that the prices are for a specific type of customer…..a 15% discount in a store where a loaf of bread is $7 is nothing.. Ive seen so many people go into this store and walk out empty handed or with just one item and I truly believe it’s because it’s so inaccessible in terms of price…we cannot kid ourselves and suggest that this is actually addressing any type of food dessert or food insecurity issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Operation Hug The Block holds nightly vigils on streets beset by violence

Next Story

I rode along with the PPA bike patrol to answer all your questions | Opinion

Latest from Community