THE Bathurst Wholefood Co-operative has certainly gone the distance, with the small community grocer celebrating its 10th year of operation.
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For the last decade, the co-op has provided an opportunity for the region's growers and producers to sell more of their product to locals.
And for locals it has been a chance to support those growers and producers while accessing healthy, organic food.
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Chairperson of the co-op board, Kathleen Jones, said the small volunteer-run business has certainly lived up to it's purpose.
"[The idea for the co-op] was originally from a bunch of people who were involved in BCCAN and they wanted somewhere where people who grew produce locally could have somewhere to sell locally," she said.
Over the years the range of products available and the number of growers and producers involved in the co-op has grown.
"We have people who do jams and that kind of stuff, as well as people who grow stuff, so we have expanded in that way," Ms Jones said.
The co-op's range includes fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, bread, cakes, snack food, coffee, herbs and spices, flour, honey, nuts, and oils.
Customers can also order boxes of seasonal vegetables.
The co-op's membership has grown along with the range, with the number of members now sitting at in excess of 300.
Ms Jones said that co-ops are becoming an even more important resource as people look to support local business and reduce food miles.
"A lot of people are concerned about food miles and they really love supporting the idea of low food miles," she said.
"Back 10 years ago, and it still happens now, people knew that cauliflower growers were carting their produce off to Sydney markets and then it would come back to Coles or Woolies here.
"That was a bit ridiculous, 400 kilometres of travel, to come back here."
To mark the 10th birthday of the co-op, a morning tea will be held in Macquarie Plaza, off William Street, from 10am next Tuesday.
Homemade cakes and slices will be served for about an hour.
Members and supporters of the co-op are welcome to attend, along with anyone interested in becoming a member.
For catering purposes, people are asked to advise if they plan to attend by calling 6332 1546 or send an email to email@example.com.
The co-op would also like to thank all the people who have been involved in the shop over the years, particularly the volunteers and Cathie Hale, who was co-op manager for nine years.
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