We interviewed Nic and Elisa Esposito at the Emerald Street Urban Farm and they shared with us their love and vision for the co-op. Read what they have to say:
1. Why did you join KCFC?
We joined KCFC in 2011 when Nic moved to Kensington from West Philly to move in with Elisa. Elisa had been active with the KCFC planning committee and Nic was a member of Mariposa Food Coop when he moved. So when the time came to sign up and invest our member equity, it really wasn't a question. Both of us have felt the positive impact a community food cooperative can have in a community and we wanted to be a part of it in its early stages.
2. Why would a co-op work in Kensington?
It may seem counter-intuitive, but even though Philly is still a city of neighborhoods, there is a still a lot of community that needs to be built in this city. A food coop is a great way to do that. And what we think makes Kensington particularly ready for a coop is not only that we have a lot of people living in the neighborhood who want to build community, but because with the lack of a university anchor or big business district or even factories (although the shells still exist), we have to rely on our community and the collective talents and energy that exist in that community. And it's that energy and talent that's going into building the coop. Also, after running Emerald Street Urban Farm for the past 7 years, we have seen the power that local food can have on a community and we are living examples of market research that shows that people want healthy and fresh produce in the neighborhood.
3. What is your vision?
Our vision is obviously to be able to walk a few blocks from our house, and load up on the fruits, veggies, yogurt and whatever else we need for the week. But our extended vision is that we can then walk down the street and get our ice cream from Little Baby's, our beer from PBC, then our bread and coffee from La Colombe, and our meat from Kensington Quarters. Although we want to give the coop as much of our business as possible, we're excited to live in a neighborhood where access to this amazing and local food is as easy as a walk down the street. And we do feel that even though those businesses are open already, it was the energy and the impending awesomeness of KCFC that made the existence of those businesses possible in the neighborhood. And we feel that they will all work together in this pretty fantastic urban food web.
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