When the People's Food Co-op
got into the grocery business 46 years ago it organized to provide natural foods that were not easily available.
Eight years ago its work has expanded to farmers markets. It has continued to expand its involvement there and now operates three farmers markets in the area.
In an attempt to show a connection between the two aspects of its business, this summer People's Food Co-op changed its name to PFC and will use that for the grocery store and the markets.
They now are respectively known as PFC Natural Grocery and Deli and PFC Markets.
PFC operates its grocery storefront at 507 Harrison Street. The three farmers markets it operates are Kalamazoo Farmers Market at 1204 Bank Street, Portage Market at 320 Library Lane, and the 100-Mile Market held at the Harrison Street grocery store.
Media and Communications Coordinator Chris Moore says is part of an effort to make shopping at the grocery store more welcoming and to clarify for new customers what PFC offers.
“We hear all the time from new shoppers that they have passed by our store for years and never known what we do. Our original name, People’s Food Co-op, doesn’t make clear that we’re a grocery store,” Moore says. “And since the rise in popularity of Costco and Sam’s Club, the fact that we’re a co-op has led people to believe that they have to be members to shop, which isn’t the case at all.”
Moore says "price-focused efforts such as the new everyday low price Co-op Basics program and the acceptance of food assistance currencies at the grocery store and farmers markets aim to broaden the appeal of PFC as they strive to reach new and returning shoppers alike."
The name change does not reflect a change in mission. "PFC remains a values-driven, community-owned cooperative," says Moore. "“As a mission-driven organization, everything we do is to create access to healthy foods."
PFC has been instrumental in the growth of the local food movement in Kalamazoo and the founding of Fair Food Matters in 2000. It participates in community food partnerships with Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and others.
Source: Chris Moore, PFC Natural Grocery and Deli and PFC Markets