Weavers Way in Ambler quickly adding new members

Weavers Way is one of the longest-running of Philadelphia-area food co-ops, launched in 1973 when neighbors in West Mount Airy formed a produce-buying club in a church basement. (MONTCO.Today file photo)

Residents of Ambler have gone without a stable grocery store in their area for years. But that changed recently when cooperative grocery Weavers Way officially opened its Ambler location at 217 E. Butler Ave.

It’s the co-op’s third main store (Weavers Way has two smaller storefronts dedicated to things like wellness and pet supplies), as well as its first one outside Northwest Philly. It’s also Weavers Way’s largest store to date, bigger than its Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill locations combined, with 11,000 square feet of retail space, writes Albert Hong for generocity.org.

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The $4.3 million renovation helped build nice-to-haves such as a café seating space and a full-service fresh meat and seafood case, but it also allowed for more economically conscious additions, such as all electricity in the building coming from sustainable sources and the flooring containing recycled materials.

And since the store is community-owned, that means paying members can have a say in anything they want changed about the store, like the kinds of products on the shelves.

Weavers Way has signed up more than 1,000 new members since the original 500 or so members of Ambler Food Co-op (AFC), the group that started up in 2012 to open a community-owned grocery store, voted unanimously to join Weavers Way.

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