Bay Ridge isn’t known for an abundance of self-righteous organicists, kids with food allergies invented by their parents or oddly sour New Agers. So the new food co-op they’re planning over there might not be as… interesting as the Park Slope one. Despite all of its nuttiness and petty annoyances, though, we love the PSFC like a batty old aunt with 17 cats, so another one is a grand idea, especially if about 5,000 current Slopers bolt for that one instead. In less than two years’ time, they may be able to. Over the past year, a core group of 20 to 25 people in and around Bay Ridge—many of them PSFCers—have been hatching a plan to open a food co-op. While they don’t have a location yet, founding member David Marangio said the group is roughly 16 to 18 months away, and they’re now making a pitch to sign up members who are willing to make a $200 investment and work an as-yet unspecified number of hours.
(The PSFC makes its members to work 2:45 hours every four weeks.) “We don’t know how much our work requirement will be yet,” Marangio says. “It could be more than Park Slope’s, at least in the very beginning.” The group also needs people to perform volunteer duties like marketing, passing out flyers, accountancy, and more, says Marangio, who adds that more than 100 individuals are already involved.
So who knew that Bay Ridge—which got its first greenmarket last year—is actually a mecca for flaxseed-oil sippers? Certainly not the co-op’s founders. “We started this process not knowing whether there would be enough people who were into food to make this happen,” Marangio says. “But there are more than people realized. The majority of us have been going out of the neighborhood to shop.”