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My Co-op Story PDF Print E-mail

by Peter Shumlin
June 2012

The last time I was in Brattleboro for a packed schedule of events, I made sure to squeeze in a few minutes to swing by the Brattleboro Co-op. Since moving to Montpelier I haven't been able to find any local store that carries my favorite brand of tea, Typhoo, but I knew I would find it in Brattleboro. I was disappointed to see only Typhoo decaf boxes on the shelf, but as Governor I've learned not to give up in the face of tough challenges. I found a helpful Co-op member to check the back for me. I left the store a happy camper having convinced a friend I ran into to buy a box, and buying three boxes for myself.

This story is typical of my Co-op experiences over the years. I can always expect to find food that's good for my body and my community, quality service, and countless friends who are happy to stop and chat. You might say the Co-op is a microcosm for our great state. We're in the middle of an agricultural renaissance in Vermont because more and more Vermonters care about where their food comes from, what’s in it, and who grew it. Co-ops are obvious partners in  this movement. In addition, Co-ops reflect the remarkable Vermont community spirit that we all saw in action in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene with neighbors helping neighbors and neighbors helping strangers.
I am particularly proud of the community at the Brattleboro Co-op. It broke my heart to learn of the shooting of Michael Martin last August, but as I gathered with the Co-op community at a candlelight vigil, I was reminded of the sense of safety and sense of belonging that makes the Co-op special. It comes as no surprise that the community, while still grieving, is moving on from that tragic event and is now poised to expand their influence even further through a new space and a partnership with the Windham-Windsor Housing Trust that will bring much needed affordable housing to the Brattleboro area.
I want to congratulate the Co-op for its many successes over the years and for its continued growth. You can be sure that when the new store opens I will stop in for some tea.
Peter Shumlin