Downtown Reborn Series: Española Community Market

Customers and volunteer staff  Tom Holland and Mary Ellen Stewart at the Community Market Friday afternoon

Downtown Reborn Series: Española  Community Market

A series of stories about rebirth in the downtown areas of Española

ESPAÑOLA – Perhaps you have already noticed but many people in the Valley are just starting to realize that there is something happening in the downtown area of Española .

Along Paseo de Oñate in the original downtown area of the city there are signs of activity and community growth. So much so that we have decided to cover these stories in a series of articles highlighting each individual business or group that is making things happen in downtown Española .

For this first article the Valley Daily Post visits the Española  Community Market.

Over the last several years the Española  Community Market has been growing from an idea to a group to an actual cooperative grocery market in downtown Española  with over 300 active members.

Located at 312 E. Paseo de Oñate, the Española  Community Market is a full service grocery store. Jennie Chamblee, general manager explained that the community market was formed with a mission to provide good quality, locally grown food to the community and provide education opportunities that help teach the benefit of eating healthy and locally.

The store has grown in this capacity with 95 percent of fresh produce grown in Rio Arriba County. Free-range eggs from Tierra Azul and other local producers are also available, and organic meat from suppliers in northern New Mexico.

The store carries organic dairy and milk products and will soon begin selling certified raw milk from Des Met Dairy, the only New Mexico dairy certified to produce this product.

 The store is growing in capacity and just this week announced they would be expanding the number of days they are open to Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They also will soon offer herbs and health supplements.

The growth of the Española  Community Market from a small club without a location to this growing store is due to the hard work of the volunteers who run the store. All staff are actually volunteers who have given their time and energy to make this vision for an organic market in Española  come to life. Chamblee also credits support from key community organizations such as Presbyterian Hospital. Chamblee said “Presbyterian Hospital has given tremendous support to our produce efforts. We have also been greatly supported by Siete del Norte.”

Siete del Norte is currently redeveloping the old Ford dealership in town as a community food hub. Once the construction is complete the Española  Community Market plans to relocate down the street to this larger location.

The next time you are driving downtown look for the open sign at the cooperative market and stop in. You will be pleasantly surprised by the treasures you find and people you meet.