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Plan to bring a co-op supermarket to the South Bay hits road block

SunCoast Market Co-Op
Posted at 12:44 PM, Aug 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-24 17:21:21-04

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — A new grocery store featuring an unconventional operation style coming to the South Bay needs more money before construction can begin. The SunCoast Market Co-Op would be entirely owned by members of the community who chose to buy shares in the market, allowing them to specifically tailor the products sold, relying on local farms and businesses.

“Me and my brother always have been passionate about fermenting foods in general. We decided to ferment our favorite food, which is hot sauce,” says Niccolo Fraschetti from Alive Ferments, who plans to contribute to the market.

Fraschetti says he and his brother came up with the idea during the pandemic, leading to the creation of their company. Their goal was to use fermentation to preserve food.

As their products hit different grocery stores, they learned about the opportunity to get involved with plans in building the SunCoast Market Co-Op.

“We love the co-op structure because we think it’s a really good way of stimulating the local economy and helping out small businesses — how we can help farmers succeed,” Fraschetti says.

The plan is to build the co-op in a strip mall on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. The group has already raised $1.8 million. However, it still needs more than $3 million in its cofferes before construction can begin, which is why the group is asking businesses, organizations and members of the community to step up and help by donating.

"We’re going to be sourcing from a lot of local farms that uses sustainable and regenerative practices. So,we can buy food with less exposure to pesticides and herbicides,” Kim Frink, the Board President of SunCoast Market Co-Op says. “We’re not going to give up if we lose this space. We’ll keep looking because we are committed to opening this store and becoming a model for other underserved communities.”

According to its website, the group needs 300 more owners to reach its opening day goal.

To learn more about becoming a partial owner of the market, follow this link.