Manresa welcomes local and organic supermarket co-op with almost 800 members

Supercoop co-owners must pay €50-fee and work 3 hours per month

Shoppers at Manresa's Supercoop organic cooperative supermarket (by Estefania Escolà)
Shoppers at Manresa's Supercoop organic cooperative supermarket (by Estefania Escolà) / ACN

ACN | Manresa

March 23, 2021 02:28 PM

After successfully bringing on board almost 800 members, the central Catalonia city of Manresa is now home to a new cooperative supermarket, Supercoop, which sells local and organic products.

Located in the municipal Puigmercadal market, its co-owners must pay a €50-fee per month as well as donate three hours of their time.

This is not an issue for Xavier Gibert, a long-retired nonagenarian, who is happy to get back to business if it means ensuring the initiative's success. "This supermarket will reinvigorate farm life, currently at risk," he argues.

Gibert is not alone in this regard. "It is a means of empowerment and finding solutions to our problems," extols Natxo Tarrés, another co-owner.

The effects of the new co-op have already been felt in the local economy: the Puigmercadal market, with a total of 19 stands, has had five of them open recently. 

Modeled on Park Slope Food Coop

Supercoop hopes to emulate a New York success story: the Park Slope Food Coop, in Brooklyn, which was founded in 1973 as "an alternative to commercial profit-oriented business" and now has over 17,000 members.

The co-operative also cites the examples of La Osa coop and SuperCoop Lavapiés, in Madrid, as well as La Louve in Paris.

The Catalan capital is yet to welcome a similar project, though there are plans to open Food Coop BCN once at least 500 people join.