Daily Groceries Co-Op first opened its doors on Prince Avenue in 1992. Three decades later, the store is asking for support to keep their doors open.
“We really need your help,” said Shelley Ruth, the store’s general manager.
Athens’ only community-owned grocery store, Daily Groceries Co-Op hopes to raise $150,000. The funds would allow the store to move down the street to a new location, at 1190 Prince Ave.
Ruth says the move will allow the store to bring in more local products. But, they can’t do it alone.
This will be a great move, but it will take the entire village to pull this off,” Ruth said.
Community members have left comments on social media in support of the cause. They don’t want to see another local business close down.
“It just makes me emotional … just the feeling of love,” Ruth said.
Ruth says the cost of running a small, independent business is high — which is why some local businesses in Athens have recently closed their doors.
Collective Harvest, Athens Locally Grown, Heirloom Café & Fresh Market and The Grit are among some of the local businesses in Athens that have shut down in recent years.
Daily Groceries relies on local farms and businesses for much of their inventory. The shop says the new location will allow them the space to open their doors to more local farmers, who in-turn, rely on the grocery store for income.
Zach Tellano is one loyal customer of the shop who frequently buys their sandwiches and chocolate.
“If the Daily Grocery wasn’t on Prince, I’m not really sure what I would do,” Tellano said.
Tellano says he knows the staff and store have his back, and while he’s sad to say goodbye to the building he is used to, he understands the benefits of the move.
“I know as a result, they’re going to be working with more farmers, more local business – which is very exciting. I love to support small businesses,” he said.
Ruth says small, unique businesses are what ‘Keeps Athens, Athens.’ She thinks small shops bring people together in a way you don’t see in bigger businesses.
It’s just one of the reasons she hopes Daily Groceries Co-op will stick around for another 30 years.
Julianna Washburn and Ashley Balsavias are senior journalism majors at the University of Georgia.
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