The Three Sisters Food Coop is an ambitious project aimed at creating a vibrant community-owned market and meeting space that serves as a catalyst for positive change in the West Blvd corridor and the surrounding region. The market, spanning 15,000 square feet, embraces the principles of a food co-op model, wherein ownership is shared by both employees and customers. Situated alongside the Three Sisters farm, the project aims to foster a deep connection between the community, its food systems, and local culture.
At its core, the Three Sisters Food Coop seeks to address the food desert that has plagued the area due to the neglect of the private sector in supporting a healthy local food culture. Instead of exploitative models like dollar stores, the project endeavors to provide the West Boulevard corridor with a sustainable food commerce solution that empowers the community and nurtures local commerce.
Inspired by the Three Sisters farming method, where corn, legumes, and squash are interplanted to nourish and support each other, the Three Sisters Food Coop symbolizes the power of community collaboration. It integrates the functions of a food coop with the essence of a community resource, ensuring that it goes beyond being a conventional commercial space. The project envisions the market as a welcoming and inclusive community center, a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging and has a voice in shaping its operations.
Creating a new model of business for the area, the Three Sisters Food Coop emphasizes community empowerment by making the community itself the provider of essential resources. Close alliances with the West Side Community Land Trust and the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition further strengthen its commitment to the local community. Our firm helped the project already receive recognition as a Congress of New Urbanism Legacy Project, leading to a study on the redesign of the West Boulevard arterial. Additionally, the youth-led program “Seeds for Change” leverages the farm to engage and educate young individuals.
The Three Sisters Food Coop Market will serve as a significant milestone in the West Blvd corridor, marking the community’s first grocery store in 40 years. After years of persistent efforts, the organization already hosts an urban farm and outdoor market, setting the stage for the addition of a transformative physical building.
The vision for the Three Sisters Food Coop encompasses far more than just a grocery store. It aspires to be a beacon of hope, promoting community resilience, sustainability, and local commerce. By placing control in the hands of the community, the project paves the way for a thriving future where food is not only a necessity but also a vital part of the local culture. With the market as its centerpiece, the Three Sisters Food Coop is poised to shape a better future for the West Boulevard corridor and the wider region it serves.