DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Construction workers are getting ready to lay the foundation for the new Gem City Market, according to officials with the grocery co-op.
The market, which is set to help bring fresh food to West Dayton neighborhoods, remains on track to open this fall, said Kenya Baker, community engagement director.
The co-op now has more than 2,400 members, according to officials. Their new goal is to reach 3,000 members by the time the store opens.
Some neighbors who live near the Salem Avenue site told 2 NEWS they’re excited about the project’s progress.
“Right now, to get groceries, I don’t drive anymore,” said Nozipo Glenn, one of the co-op’s members. “I have to catch two or three buses to get to a decent store that sells decent food.”
For neighbors like Glenn, that will change come October when the Gem City Market is set to open.
The site has now been cleared for construction, Baker said.
“We just finished removing all of the old footers and filling it in, and we are awaiting the pouring of the slab,” Baker said. “So that’ll be happening in the next few weeks.”
With construction now fully funded, Baker said, the group is focused on raising funds to cover several years of operating costs.
“It’s going to be exciting to engage potential future employees ’cause they’ll be the primary stakeholders in the grocery store, so we’re looking to hire about 26 community members, and then we’re also going to be on-boarding a general manager,” she said.
Some community members told 2 NEWS they’re optimistic the market will also spur revitalization in the area.
“Investors will see the success of the Gem City Market co-op, and they’ll want to get a piece of that pie,” said David Greer, a board member.
“Before, it was just a dream, and we were crossing our fingers just hoping,” Glenn said. “Now, it’s a reality.”
The co-op is now working to choose a tagline and is also collecting grocery store receipts to figure out how to stock the store, Baker said.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Gem City Market or making a donation, click here.