The Mustard Seed Co+op has closed. On Instagram the specialty grocery store which focused on selling local food announced the end of their business after seven years on York Boulevard.
In a letter to members, the Mustard Seed said it was assigned into bankruptcy August 30th.
Recently the co-op reached out to its nearly 700 active members for loans that would help repay debts to suppliers. The goal was to raise $150,000 to repay debts and allow some breathing room to regroup the business model. After receiving $26,700 the decision to close was made.
The Mustard Seed model as a member owned, not-for-profit was to attract members by offering discounts and other incentives. The store was also open to anyone for shopping.
From the beginning the grocery store featured organic local produce, and many other items produced locally such as coffee, chocolate, cereals, and organic cleaning supplies.
Organic items often cost more, that coupled with changes in shopping habits during the pandemic impacted sales. In the letter to members the Mustard Seed said many of their members and customers chose to shop elsewhere.
In addition to sourcing local products, and offering a wide range of organic items, the Mustard Seed paid their employees a living wage.