WALLA WALLA -- The city's member-owned grocery cooperative is shopping around for a new location after plans for a move fell through.
In an email update to members this week, operators of the Walla Walla Daily Market Cooperative said previously announced plans to move to the back portion of Someone's in the Kitchen on Rose Street are off the table.
Consequently, the co-op will be without a storefront for a longer period than originally expected after it closes at 508 E. Main St. at the end of this month. Matt Eppelsheimer, board president for the Daily Market Cooperative, said the focus in the down period will be on reinvention.
"What it has been and what it's going to be will be different," he said. "When we re-open in the fall it will be more like what it was meant to be."
The original vision when the co-op started getting legs about seven years ago was to open a dedicated grocery store -- a chain-alternative owned by members and with a focus on local, healthy and sustainable products.
In the email to members sent Wednesday, co-op officials said some leads on properties have arisen. But pursuing them in time to open by the original June 1 goal could be a rush rather than a well-planned relocation.
"...The board of directors and planning committee have decided to re-open in the fall to ensure a smoother transition and choose a new location is the right one for us," the email read.
In the meantime, the co-op plans to close out its existing inventory in time for its May 27 closure and launch a major membership drive to increase its participation from roughly 230 members. It will also continue what's been its most popular program to date -- its Made in Walla Walla boxes.
Interested participants have until May 20 to sign up for this season's Made in Walla Walla program. Those who sign on pay a standard share of $390 to receive weekly boxes of grocery staples locally grown/made. Those can include eggs, milk, artisan bread, salad greens, grains, fruits and vegetables. The summer session runs June 1-Aug. 28 and pencils out to about $30 per week. A "meat addition" can also be included, as can a "flower addition." More details on those programs, as well as getting involved in the co-op are available at www.dailymarket.coop .
Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8321.