GreenStar Coop celebrating 40th birthday with a Downtown Ithaca concert

August 31, 2011

The 8,000 member-owners of GreenStar Cooperative Market must've figured there wasn't room for all of them at their natural foods market in Ithaca's west end, spacious as it is compared to their original home, so GreenStar's 40th birthday party is this Friday night on the Ithaca Commons. The September 2nd celebration begins at 5pm with live music.

GreenStar's roots date back to a cooperative food-buying group in 1971, but after several incarnations (including a basement "grain store" in GIAC that helped spark GreenStar's name), growth spurts, and moves, it was a fire destroying GreenStar's northside store nearly twenty years ago that led organizers to take over an empty supermarket in Ithaca's west end. 

At the time, the store was literally on the "wrong side of the tracks," in a run-down area west of Route 13 that had yet to benefit from New York State's massive project to split 13 and improve traffic surrounding the "Octopus," or Ithaca's attention to west-end development. Since then, the store has considerably expanded its natural foods offering to include a deli and ready-to-eat foods, and added a satellite location by buying the faltering Oasis Natural Grocery, in downtown Ithaca's DeWitt Mall.

Friday's music lineup includes the Black Walnut Band at 5pm followed by Z-gress and Hubcap, interrupted at about 6pm for birthday cake and prizes. The concert and party will be at and around the Bernie Milton Pavilion, in the center of the Ithaca Commons.

GreenStar will "bookend" the long Labor Day holiday weekend with an ice cream social for working members and staff at 2pm on Monday, September 5th, at their west-end store. 

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