Kim Lauzon thinks people in Maple Ridge are getting excited about starting a food co-operative.
Over the past couple years, Lauzon has been meeting with like-minded people, throwing around ideas about starting a co-operative that would function as a grocery store offering local products, like a "permanent farmers' market." A formal group, called the Golden Ears Community Co-op, has been established and they have started buying in bulk.
But Lauzon has a vision of a storefront owned by members, which would provide local shoppers with local products.
"It's been a lot of talking," Lauzon said, but she feels the group is at a turning point and interest is increasing.
Bringing up her family in Maple Ridge on one income, Lauzon said she still wanted to feed them healthy food.
"I've been frustrated with the lack of fresh, local food," Lauzon said.
Food co-operatives have existed in the United States since the 1970s, and she has visited them to learn about their struggles and successes.
She finds the atmosphere in co-operatives welcoming.
"You feel like you are part of something," she said.
In addition to a store and perhaps a deli, Lauzon would like the facility to include space for education, for example, for workshops.
A food co-operative, like the Golden Ears group is envisioning, would ensure that people could by local food, and that the money stays in the community.
The Golden Ears Community Co-op group is an action group of GETI - the Golden Ears Transition Initiative - which is holding GETI Fest this Saturday (see related story).
Lauzon and other members of the Golden Ears Food Co-op will be at the event along with other GETI action groups, giving out information on what they hope to build in Maple Ridge.
While Lauzon has a degree in English, she realized her interest was getting involved in the community.
She has recently been taking courses in social enterprise.
The group is holding a fundraiser in October in order to do a feasibility study on starting a co-op.
For more information about the co-op, go to www.meetup. com/Golden-Ears-Community-Co-op.