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Shining a Light on People's Food Co-op, a 2019 Thursdays Downtown Partner

Thursdays Downtown is a successful community event, in part, because of its community-driven partnerships. The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) values People's Food Co-op and its support of Thursdays Downtown. In turn, we want to shine the spotlight on them! Let's learn a little more about the organization from Ann Mull, marketing director with People's Food Co-op!

Katie: Thank you, Ann, for joining me and sharing more about People's Food Co-op! Tell us about the organization and how long it’s been a part of the Rochester community.

Ann: People’s Food Co-op in Rochester began as the Good Food Store. An idea quietly shaped in the stacks of the Rochester Public Library in 1975, the Good Food Store operated in several locations in Rochester, merging with People’s Food Co-op of La Crosse in 2013. That makes 44 years the Rochester community has supported its downtown co-op. Combined, the Rochester and La Crosse co-ops have more than 10,000 member/owners. We are Rochester’s premiere venue for local, organic foods. The co-op is made up of hundreds of community members who all have a stake and a say in the store.

Katie: What excites you about the Rochester community?

Ann: People’s Food Co-op is Rochester’s community grocery store. We’re community owned—your neighbors and friends. When you shop at PFC, you’re supporting Rochester’s local agriculture and producers. More than $4 million of our yearly sales come from local products. You are also supporting your local economy in other ways. At PFC, more of your dollars stay in Rochester to grow our city and our good-food suppliers. We are fortunate to serve a vibrant, agriculturally diverse pool of producers and enjoy bringing the bounty of Southern Minnesota and Wisconsin to our shoppers.

Katie: Why is People's Food Co-op excited to participate in Thursdays Downtown?

Ann: We love the atmosphere at Thursdays Downtown. It’s a great place to connect with friends and family on summer days. It is a great community event and PFC feels right at home there.

Katie: What other community events do you have coming up?

Ann: People’s Food Co-op has dozens of classes and events every year. All events are listed on the co-op's website and can also be found on and Facebook. Upcoming classes this fall include a natural tie-dying class for family fun Saturday, August 24 and Storytime for Grown-ups Thursday, October 17. The story time class will have readings from Minnesota authors who incorporate food into their work. Also look for our store-wide celebration, “I Love Local” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m October 26.

Katie: What else should we know about People's Food Co-op?

Ann: People’s Food Co-op offers high quality food at fair prices with an emphasis on local, organic, fairly traded, and natural goods. We’ve been supporting local, organic, clean food for decades. This isn’t just a food fad we settled on yesterday. We’ve built relationships with our local organic and clean conventional farmers that go back decades. We’re here for the long-term as part of a local food system that cares for the health of your family as well as the health of our environment and of our growers.

Katie: Lastly, it's not common for a food co-op to have a happy hour. Tell us about People's Food Co-op's happy hour!

Ann: People’s Food Co-op has happy hours every Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. with deep discounts on items from our deli, meat, produce, and grocery departments. We’d also like to feature our new $5 Dinner program every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m., We serve up a Co-op's own freshly made entree and house-made side—for just $5! Recent dinners have included Cajun beans and rice and green beans; BBQ chicken with black beans and corn and peas; and Baked potato bar, with all the fixins’ (cheddar, green onions, bacon, sour cream, steamed broccoli) and organic corn. It’s all really delicious and prepared in-house.

To learn more about People's Food Co-op, please visit its website.