About Our Relocation
70 South Street Opening July 26
Want more pictures? Check out our Construction Gallery!
Why is the Co-op moving?
Over the last 45 years, the Blue Hill Co-op has relocated many times as we've grown. We have operated out of the old Sedgwick School House, the Sedgwick Redemption Center, The Barn Castle, the former Blue Moose building, the Halcyon Grange, and in the earliest days we shifted monthly to different private residences of various Owners. The Co-op has been at 4 Ellsworth Road since 1993, and though it has been a happy home for us, we can't continue to grow at the rate we have in such a small space. Any one who has ever had to park at the Co-op in August can easily see why we need to upgrade. The same goes for anyone who has been in the back room on a delivery day during the busy season.
Changing to a venue, that is not only bigger but actually designed for our needs, will enable us to continue to grow and evolve along with our community.
Click here to read newspaper articles about our move.
Thank you to the over 300 Co-op Owners who have contributed $1,852,562 towards our relocation effort. If you're interested in supporting the move to South Street, stop in or call and ask to speak with Kevin Gadsby, our General Manager.
Site work progresses, and we are expecting a Grand Opening in Summer 2019!
How Will Expansion Benefit Our Community?
Expanding the Co-op will:
• Provide additional jobs.
• Generate tax revenue.
• Provide opportunities for more local farmers and vendors to sell their wares.
• Offer a wider variety of fresh, high-quality food.
• Serve as a model for other cooperative businesses.
• Enhance our ability to support a thriving local economy.
• Provide a community room to host educational programs for everyone.
South Street Solar Project is Fully Funded!
The tall, pitched roof of the new co-op storefront was designed for the sun.
Thank You to all the Co-op Owners who donated towards the Co-op’s Solar Project!
Investing in the Co-op’s Relocation
Phase III Fundraising now closed.
We can still accept cash donations either directly to the Co-op or through EMDC.
Would you like to support the Co-op by donating to the relocation or solar project?
You can direct your donations to Eastern Maine Development Corp (EMDC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN 01-0281875) that has partnered with the Co-op to facilitate the expansion and relocation project.
Donations to EMDC will be combined and granted to the Co-op at key points in the relocation process. As EMDC is a nonprofit, donations to them are deductible to the extent the law allows.
Mail donations to:
Eastern Maine Development Corp
ATTN: Blue Hill Co-op
40 Harlow Street
Bangor, ME 04401
REF: Blue Hill Co-op Relocation
If the tax benefits are not important, you can donate directly to the Co-op, care of:
Kevin Gadsby, General Manager.
What will the new store be like?
Blue Hill Co-op, 70 South Street, Blue Hill, ME
Now that the footprint of the building is visible at the work site, it’s beginning to be easier to see the scale of the new Co-op. However, if you need a three-dimensional example, it is comparable to the size of Rising Tide Co-op in Damariscotta. A building closer to home with a similar size is Blue Hill’s Rite Aid. When we say that you could fit two of our current building (minus the upstairs) inside the new store, we’re not exaggerating. What are we going to do with all that extra space? More of what we already do best! Every department is expanding their selections. This means that we will be carrying more amazing and responsibly sourced food from Maine and beyond. More health supplements and body care. More gift items and general merchandise. And more delicious food, made in the new, much larger, kitchen! Another great thing about our larger size is that we will be able to buy a larger volume and negotiate better prices with our suppliers. That means that our prices will likely go down.
We have spent lots of time and energy designing a Co-op that will not only be a great place to shop but a pleasant addition to Blue Hill’s appearance. We didn’t want to build another ugly store with a great big parking lot in front of it and not a tree in sight. Yes, we did have to cut down some trees in order to build, but we will be doing extensive landscaping, including the planting of indigenous trees. While we will have a large paved parking area (70+ spaces), it is to the side of the store, not in front. The modern habit of putting stores far from the road, showing off the number of cars parked there, is a development of the 1950s based on flawed principals and will not be followed. We both want to encourage walking traffic and show off our lovely new building. If you’re concerned about water runoff from our new parking lot, fear not. We have done extensive (and expertly engineered) work putting in an environmentally friendly drainage system. This will prevent our parking lot from damaging the forest land behind us and the property of those who live below.
While we may not be able to fit out the new store with solar power at first, we will be using several energy-saving and environmentally sound systems. For example, most grocery stores simply pump the heat made by their refrigeration units out into the world. In our new building, be will be using a method that allows us to use this excess heat for hot water and to keep the store warm in the winter. We are also hoping to offer electric car charging ports. We want this building will make as little impact on the environment as possible and to help others do the same!