Renaissance Community Co-op
Roodline Volcy, 26, Store Owner and Jada Dunn, 39, Hospitality Manager
In 1998, the Winn-Dixie grocery store closed its doors for the final time at its 2517 Phillips Avenue location. The shopping plaza it stood in lost other tenants and eventually fell into disrepair. So began the food desert in northeast Greensboro that lasted nearly 20 years.
Today, in that exact same location stands a brand new grocery store – one that would fit anywhere in Greensboro – thanks to community leaders and neighbors. The 10,500 square foot, community-owned Renaissance Community Co-op is now providing good jobs, healthy living options and wealth for residents.
This didn’t happen though without a lot of work from the community. Not long ago, a young Haitian immigrant named Roodline Volcy was involved with the Fund for Democratic Communities and began hearing talk about a project to bring a cooperative grocery store to her neighborhood.
Volcy, 26, soon joined the Renaissance Community Cooperative as an owner. “As an owner, you become accountable to your community, so I got to work quickly.”
“It was cool from my perspective, because I got to see all of the milestones accomplished along the way. I remember choosing colors for the wall and making decisions to have the hot bar.”
“The grand opening was like Christmas. I had on my RCC shirt and when I drove to the store and parked, a wave of emotion came over me. The store is gorgeous and there is such a sense of community pride when you walk down the aisles.”
Once the store opened, “I felt like ‘damn, we worked for it and made it happen!’”
Now that the doors are open, Jada Dunn, the 39-year-old hospitality manager for Renaissance Community Co-op, makes sure everyone is on point and has a positive attitude to make customers feel welcome.
Living just two minutes away from the store, Dunn is committed to helping keep the wealth of the store in the community. “It is important for me to know that every dollar I spend at the store is coming back to the community.”
“I love interacting with customers. Everyone is excited. The Claremont community can walk to the store and I have built a rapport with everybody that comes here and works here. We are a family.”
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