A large crowd of more than 300 people gathered at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, in the parking lot of the Noank Community Market to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Co-op. Speakers included Groton's Mayor Heather Somers, Representative Elissa Wright, with NCM Board Members Bailey Pryor and Timothy Bates.
The ribbon cutting was performed by landlord Stephen Jones and music was provided by the Noank/Mystic Community Band. The store was open for business immediately after the ceremony and the store was packed with customers and members of the Co-op.
New products were being sampled in the front of the store and there was even a last-minute delivery of supplies because of the demand. This was truly a great start for the very dedicated group of directors, and the landlord himself, who have worked so hard to make this new market a reality.
2011 was a rough year for local businesses. Mystic Streetscape projects and Tropical Storm Irene were factors that closed the Universal Food Store in Noank and Puritan & Genesta natural foods in Mystic.
A group of volunteers, led by Bailey Pryor, formed the board of directors of the Noank Community Market, owned and managed cooperatively on Pearl Street in Noank. The new market acts as a general food store with a meat counter, bakery, pizza oven and as a source for vegan and natural foods. The market also provides prepared foods and catering and is managed by C.J. Lewis, formerly of Puritan and Genesta.
The Co-op raised $250,000 in loans from its membership to cover costs of acquiring inventory, equipment and hiring staff. A family membership of $175 includes discounts on every purchase and over 450 family memberships have been issued to date.
The Market also serves retail customers and has a Wi-fi sitting area where people can socialize. Normal business hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7 days per week.