November 3, 2017
Providence, November 3––Community members and member-owners of Urban Greens Food Co-op gathered at the SEG Hub on the evening of Thursday, October 19th at the prospect of hearing exciting news.
Originally incorporated in 2007, Urban Greens is a member-owned co-operative enterprise that serves the greater Providence community by providing affordable and sustainable healthy foods while supporting local farmers and producers. The 825+ member cooperative will have 25 employees once open, including their recently-hired General Manager, Janiqua Jackson, who boasts 18 years of grocery experience.
“We went through a nationwide search with professional help,” mentioned Antonieta Falconi, SEG’s CFO and Urban Greens board member, “and we were very lucky to find Janiqua Jackson.”
On September 14, Urban Greens broke ground on a project more than 10 years in the making––a retail grocery store open not just to members, but to the public as well. Located at 93 Cranston Street in the West Side of Providence––in what many would call a ‘food desert’––the initiative represents a milestone in advancing the organization’s goals by “offering nutritious, affordable food that is sustainably sourced, culturally inclusive and supportive of local food production.”
Philip Trevvett, Vice Chairperson of the Urban Greens board kicked off the Fall Community Investment Campaign by explaining that residents who invest in Urban Green will receive a share of preferred stock as a direct public offering with the state of Rhode Island.
“At its core, this is an opportunity to direct more capital to a local Rhode Island business, earn a return while supporting a community project that will increase access to local, healthy, and affordable foods, and create more jobs in the community,” Trevvett explains.
Before wrapping up his presentation, Trevvett unveiled what was to become the night’s headline news: “The Rhode Island Foundation has committed to invest an additional $300,000 if we can reach our goal of going from $400,000 to $600,000.” Urban Greens is one of just two Providence organizations chosen by the Rhode Island Foundation as recipients of their brand-new Impact Investing initiative.
Jessica David, the foundation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Community, stated that the investment “could set some really interesting precedence.”
Urban Greens is a member of SEG’s co-working space, and have participated in SEG-led workshops and advising services.
“We believe in co-ops as an inclusive economic development model, and we are really happy to have them as a part of the SEG community” mentioned SEG CFO Falconi.
Any resident can help open their doors and bring the project to life, and earn an annual dividend of 2% on their investment. Visit www.urbangreens.com/invest to make your investment.
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Cameron is a senior concentrating in Business, Entrepreneurship & Organizations at Brown University and splits his time between Providence, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area. When not pursuing eclectic experiences in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, he loves running, reading, exploring city vistas, and considers himself a newly-converted podcast junkie.