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Syracuse Cooperative Market aims to fill need for downtown grocery store

Ellen Abbott
Fresh food is available at the Syracuse Cooperative Market in downtown Syracuse

After three years in the making, a full-service grocery store is opening its doors in downtown Syracuse Wednesday. 

The Syracuse Cooperative Market food store’s soft opening Wednesday brings everything you need from a full-service grocery store to a 2,500 square foot spot next to the new Salt City Market, according to co-op general manager Jeremy DeChario.

“We have meats, cheeses, dairy, bread, paper towels, napkins, ice cream, frozen pizza, canned tomatoes,” said DeChario. “I’ve got pet food, that’s a big one for folks downtown. The works."

The city has been trying to attract a full-service grocery store downtown for more than a decade, according to Mayor Ben Walsh. He said the market can meet needs of a growing downtown population. But more than that, its location near low income neighborhoods and the Centro transit hub, can ease food desert issues faced by many, when it comes to finding healthy food options.

“We have micro-food deserts, where if you don’t have access to a car, often times, access to a full-service grocery store is really difficult,” Walsh said. “So we have to fill in those gaps wherever we can."

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News
Fresh food is available at the Syracuse Cooperative Market in downtown Syracuse

The Syracuse Cooperative Market is a community grocery store, but you don’t have to be a member to shop. And its original location in the city’s University neighborhood will continue to serve that population. DeChario is excited to sell food to a wider audience.

"You can do a full big shop here very conveniently. We have a parking lot. If you want to walk, we can serve you there as well, you can get a grocery cart,” he said. “It’s like living in the big city. We’ve got everything here."