Concordia co-op invites you to come in and shop or just sit and stay awhile.
“Are you a member of the co-op?”
Good news is, as a Concordia student, you automatically are. Members, in addition to being vital parts of the community that keeps the co-op running, also benefit from 20 per cent off everything in store.
Minutes after opening the doors, Ms. Forti alternates between serving customers and stocking the chip shelves.
It’s the coffee that draws in the first clients. The co-op’s members are mostly students, and at 50 cents to fill a reusable cup, it’s cheap.
Le Frigo Vert doesn’t exist to make a profit. It began over 20 years ago as a bulk food buying group and expanded to a store where it can best serve its mandate: provide affordable, organic food and environmentally-friendly products to students on campus. They keep their mark-ups low and their shelves stocked.
By the time the doors have been open for half an hour, the store has a steady stream of customers buying everything from sprouting seeds to organic cotton tampons. The convenient location just steps away from the Hall building, good prices, and high quality products are what bring in members.
It’s not just their regular weekly groceries that members can buy here.
“There aren’t a lot of spaces downtown where you can just hang out without having to buy anything,” Forti said. The co-op’s back room fills that need. Boasting a kitchen to heat up your lunch, a fully stocked bookshelf to peruse, and a newly renovated seating area, the lounge space is also home to workshops throughout the year.
“It’s fun to work in a store that also has a mandate to put on a workshop series every year,” Forti said. Past events have included anti-colonial dinners, DIY lotion and cosmetics workshops, and information on herbal remedies. Planning for this year’s workshop schedule is underway.
Le Frigo works with organizations around the city dedicated towards important causes such as food justice and the fight against poverty. In the summer months, it’s a drop-off point for local farms’ Community Supported Agriculture baskets. Leftover vegetables are purchased from the farms and sold in the co-op.
The clientele at le Frigo Vert is mostly made up of students. Since they are a fee-levy group, Concordia students are automatically members. Membership for non-Concordia students costs $15 per year.
The community feel of the place is apparent. This isn’t a store that’s set out to pay for a CEO’s yacht. “We’re a collective,” Forti said. “So many people rely on us for their groceries. It’s really important that we have what they need when they need it.”
If you’re interested in getting involved, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They regularly hold volunteer orientations.
Le Frigo Vert is located at 2130 Mackay St.