New ‘food hub’ coming soon to downtown Hamilton

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Published October 7, 2021 at 10:37 am

The Mustard Seed Co-operative Grocery Store had operated in Hamilton since 2013.

Hamilton’s recently closed Mustard Seed Co-op grocery store is about to get a new life as a ‘food hub’ for the community.

The owners of Dundurn Market and Ottawa Market announced via social media on Wednesday (Oct. 6) the new endeavour, which has the support of the Mustard Seed’s founders and members.

“We are pretty excited to announce that we are launching a new “food hub” in the old Mustard Seed Co-op building,” the Dundurn Market owners said in an Instagram post.

“With support from the original founders and members, this new venture will aim to provide the surrounding neighbourhoods with access to fresh, local foods while allowing us to expand the number of products we carry and provide more room for our growing online business.”

The closure of the Co-op at the end of August this year was met with shock and dismay among many Hamiltonians who had come to consider the store and cafe at 460 York Blvd. as more of a community hub.

The Mustard Seed opened its doors to the public in 2013 with 761 founding members who initially paid $100 for a lifetime membership.

In recent years, however, the store saw sales fall and the need for cash to keep the lights on grow until at the end of August when the operation was forced into bankruptcy.

“On declaration of bankruptcy the volunteer board had to resign,” a letter to Mustard Seed members dated August 30 read.

“Our last act as a Board was to write a thank you letter to the staff. All the staff have lost their jobs. This is an unfortunate impact of the bankruptcy. We are hopeful that if interested member groups do make a timely and reasonable offer that the Trustee accepts, the staff be re-hired and paid a living wage consistent with the Mustard Seed’s values.”

The owners of Dundurn Market, who celebrated the grand opening of their Ottawa Market in September, plan to use the former Mustard Seed location to continue their business expansion.

“It will provide us with the room to warehouse and organize the delivery and logistics side of our business,” the Instagram post said, noting that this latest expansion will bring more local vendors into the fold.

More details about the new food hub, including a new name, are forthcoming.

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