At a hearing before the Ambler Borough Council in September, Ambler Food Co-op members converged to put their support for Weavers Way on the record.
But the first to speak during the hearing — the purpose of which was to permit Weavers Way to “use” the former Bottom Dollar building as a grocery store with a kitchen — was Borough Councilman and Ambler Food Co-op member Frank DeRuosi. “I have no questions,” he said, “but I would like to say ‘thank you’ to Weavers Way for considering coming to Ambler and to Ambler Food Co-op for its perseverance in getting us here today.”
Audience members then chimed in: “Weavers Way has great food and I cannot wait to have it in Ambler.” “No other organization will turn a building that is subject to blight into a business that is good for our community.” And “I have lived in Ambler for 40 years, first because I could afford it and now, after Ambler’s renaissance, because I want to live here, but we need a grocery store.”
When put together, the members who spoke that night painted a clear picture of what we have before us: Incredible excitement about a partnership that will have tremendous impact on our community.
The goal from the start of Ambler Food Co-op was to establish a grocery store that people could call their own, not one owned by a faraway corporation that might decide to shut the doors with a moment’s notice. For those wondering why grocers leave a “Main Street town” like Ambler, just check out the trends toward bigger buildings. For companies like Bottom Dollar, which closed after being open only a little over a year, Ambler is a mere dot on a map. In a co-op, we are the foundation.
It is on this foundation that Ambler Food Co-op members are eager to work in partnership with Weavers Way Co-op with its decades of experience. Our organization — built by endless hours of volunteer time and members who have signed up because they supported a concept — is committed to do right by Ambler and its residents, providing much-needed access to healthy food, leveraging the local economy and local food system, and providing a hub for community engagement so that we, too, can say “see you at the Co-op.” Thank you, Weavers Way, for joining us in this commitment.