For the past decade, the Elkins Park East commercial corridor, home of the once thriving Ashbourne Market, struggled to retain businesses. With help from
and considerable investment from the Cheltenham community, Creekside Co-op
will open where Ashbourne once stood. They are hiring a financial controller and several store positions.
“The Ashbourne Market operated for over 30 years and was a destination for many folks from all around Philadelphia looking for quality food,” Max Minkoff, Creekside Board President, says. “We hope that Creekside will be an anchor for the great businesses [of Elkins Park East] and boost the entire area.”
Previous attempts to reopen the Ashbourne site were less than successful. The comercial district, however, is revitalizing with a newly beautified High School Park
and several emerging businesses including Shakti Yoga, The Stitching Room, Fresh From Provence, and The Whistle Stop Café.
Creekside Co-op will operate as a full service grocer offering local, gourmet, and all-natural selections. Most co-ops attempt a few hundred memberships, but CreekSide already has 1,500 members, who provide over $200,000 in equity and $330,000 in loans to the new market. In recent years, Mariposa
expanded, Weavers Way opened a second store and Fishtown organized a co-op
, proving cooperative neighborhood food stores are succeeding in Philadelphia. CreekSide Co-op opens mid-November with a grand opening celebration in January.
“Turning an empty building dragging down the neighborhood into a thriving, tax-paying business is something that is easy to get behind,” Minkoff says. “Some are motivated by the opportunity to buy local, quality food, some by the ability to have a food market within walking distance, some by revitalizing the neighborhood, and some by increasing property values, but we can all get together and create this business that makes sense for these and so many more reasons.”
Max Minkoff, Creekside Co-op