New Food Co-op Looks to Fill Void of Russo’s Closing, Offering Shares

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The following information was provided by the Charles River Co-op:

The Charles River Food Co-op is announcing that we will soon be accepting members! As a reminder, the impetus to create the Charles River Food Co-op was the closing of Russo’s in Watertown. We are excited about our mission and vision for this new store, which includes replicating Russo’s fresh produce and food diversity, in addition to a focus on sustainability and community.

While we don’t have a store for you to shop in yet, buying a member-owner share now allows us to build the financial foundation we need to fuel the next stage of our growth and fund the eventual store opening. You are investing in the future of the Charles River Co-op and enabling us to take the next step to reach our vision

Our share price will be $200 – which can be paid up-front or over 8 months in increments of $25. Please look out for an email on 6/15 with instructions on how to become a member-owner!

Frequently asked questions about food co-ops and membership:

What is a food co-op?

A food co-op is a store owned by members of the community – that could include you! Unlike conventional food stores, which are owned by an individual, a family, or a corporation owned by many shareholders, a co-operative (“co-op”) is owned by people close to the store who want to shop there, work there, or support its mission.

Co-ops around the globe are guided by seven principles – open membership, democratic member control, economic participation, autonomy, education, cooperation, and concern for the community. You can read more about these principles and our progress building a new co-op from the ground up on our website.

What is a food co-op member-owner?

A food co-op member is someone who buys a share of a food co-op, giving them partial ownership of the food co-op, which includes voting rights, and dividends in profitable years.

Why are you asking people to buy memberships when you don’t have a store yet?

Asking community members to buy membership shares before the store opens gives us the startup capital we need to open the store. It also gives us your vote of confidence in our mission, which increases our likelihood of success.

Have more questions?

We’d be happy to answer! Email us at and let us know.

Volunteers Needed for June 18th

We plan to have a table at the Riverfest in Waltham on June 18th to tell people about the Charles River Food Co-op and to sign up new members.

We need some volunteers to help at the table between 9 am and 5 pm.  Send an email to if you could help out for an hour or two.

In co-operation,

The Charles River Food Co-op Board

(Nick, Melissa, Thomas, Tim, Christina, Lissa, Lew, Benny, & Jen)

5 thoughts on “New Food Co-op Looks to Fill Void of Russo’s Closing, Offering Shares

  1. This is great. I miss Russo’s everyday. I would love to buy shares but I am not able to afford the fee at this time. I wish the coop great success. I remember when the Harvard coop in Central Square, Cambridge open. I was working in that area, so I frequently shopped their. It was a great place to shop and the food was delicious. Looking forward to shopping at the Charles River Food Coop when you open.

  2. There is an inspiration of love that you get with food at co-op’s that makes it so much nicer to shop there.
    That said, the economics are always a challenge. I hope the economics can be made more sustainable than the Boston food co-op, Cambridge and JP co-op’s were.

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