Efforts to Start Local Food Co-op Reaches Key Milestone

The Charles River Food Co-op surpassed the 500 member mark recently, and continues to work toward opening somewhere in or around Watertown. Progress has been encouraging for Nick Quaranto, president of the Co-op’s board of directors. “I haven’t seen other co-ops get to 500 as fast as we have, so I think we are really onto something,” Quaranto said. “People really understand what we are tying to do, which is great. but we are going to need more.”

LETTER: Missing Russo’s, Striving to Create Food Co-op

It’s been one year since Russo’s announced they were closing. Over 365 days have passed with our community lacking one of Boston Metro West’s best sources for produce, baked goods, and plants. As I stood in the checkout line on their last day — laden with too much cheese and veggies — my mind raced, thinking of the 200 people who would be without jobs soon, wondering why Watertown needed yet another lab facility for a biotech company instead of a market. My kids would no longer be able to prowl through the Christmas trees stacked up outside each December. My wife would need to find a replacement for the especially spicy maror (horseradish) that would make us tear up at Passover.

Charles River Food Co-op Adding Members, Seeks Accountant

The Charles River Food Co-op recently announced it has been adding members since it started offering shares, and has a goal to enable it to take the next step toward opening a food store in the Watertown area. The Co-op sent out the following information:

We now have over 300 paid members, which is very exciting! Our members come from Waltham, Watertown, Newton, and beyond. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has already joined us. For anyone who is interested in becoming a member, you can do that here: https://charlesriverfood.coop/join.

Shares Available for Charles River Co-op, Group Looking to Create New Food Buying Alternative

Since the closing of Russo’s market in September 2021, a group of people has been working to create a new option for grocery and food shoppers in the Watertown area. On June 15, the Charles River Food Co-op formally kicks off the sale of shares in the planned store. The co-op had a soft opening in early June, and has already sold more than 70 shares, said Nick Quaranto, interim board president of the Charles River Food Co-op. The money raised by the shares, which cost $200 each, will go toward planning and building a store in one of the communities on which the co-op is focusing: Watertown, Waltham, and Newton. Shareholders will also be able to participate in co-op elections and will receive discounts after the store opens.

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

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.