DUBUQUE, Iowa — Shoppers should see some relief at Dubuque’s new food co-op. The member- owned grocery store opened May 5th. That opening drew a lot of attention, but some shoppers say the prices there are higher than they can afford.
Managers admit the prices here are higher than other local groceries stores. Managers say they are concerned about sticker shock and they’re taking steps to improve it.
As excited shoppers stroll the aisles during the food co-op’s grand opening, some shoppers say the prices here aren’t so grand.
Mary Kammerude said, “I don’t make a lot of money. So I won’t be able to buy all my things here. “
Other shoppers say buying local, organic food is worth every extra dollar bill.
Jack Hinderman said, “It’s a lot cheaper than chemo therapy.”
Mangers say when the co-op first opened they were selling non-produce items for prices suggested by their food supply company.
General Manager Patrick Brickell said, “We needed a pricing file as an example and that showed up, unfortunately, two days before we opened so we didn’t have time to adjust.”
Brickell says he’s since slashed prices where he could.
“Within one week of opening, I dropped prices across the entire dairy department. Two days ago I dropped prices on every single item in our frozen department. We’re just getting in there and slowly working out way through the store now,” said Brickell.
Employees remind customers, stocking the shelves with locally grown food actually costs the store more than if that food came from other parts of the world.
“We are working on a value program so people can come in and buy all their main staples actually at a really good price for an organic product, which you are not going to find elsewhere,” said Brickell.
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