Grocery shopping is about to change in Gainesville.
The Citizens Co-op finally opened its doors last week. Located at 435 S. Main St., this grand opening has been long awaited.
For three and a half years, co-founder Elizabeth Nesbit, along with friend and finance manager Gretchen McIntyre, their families and the community have been working to open a cooperative grocery store.
Starting from scratch, the Citizens Co-op raised more than $200,000 and accumulated more than 700 members and co-owners, Nesbit said.
Members of the Citizens Co-op have several benefits, some of which include access to monthly sale items and a portion of the profits at the end of the year.
A lifetime membership costs $100, and students can pay in four installations of $25.
The store houses a variety of items and departments including produce, dairy, meat and seafood, bulk, teas and spices, and health and beauty.
Nesbit became inspired to open a co-op when she went traveling with her family and found that cooperative grocery stores provided a wealth of community information and fresh food.
"I wanted to establish a place where people can come hang out, feel welcome, learn about public events and eat well," she said.