Hudson (Finally) Getting Affordable Grocery Store

rolling-grocer-19Rolling Grocer 19 is expanding its affordable food operation from a mobile trailer to a storefront set to open March 5.

Hudson, with a poverty rate of nearly 20 percent, has no affordable grocery store. The one grocery option in the city, Olde Hudson, caters to a boutique crowd and is out of reach to all but wealthy residents.

READ: Dampening Hudson’s ‘Food Desert.’

Rolling Grocer 19 will now inhabit a location on 2nd Street just south of Warren Street, the former location of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood.

Audrey Berman, the project manager for Rolling Grocer 19, said the store will improve on their mobile operation in several ways.

“We’ll have more food options available [and] more variety of product to meet more variety of need,” she said.  “We’re more reliable because we’re no longer dependent on what the weather is – if there’s a snowstorm, we’re going to be here – and at the same time, we’re in a permanent location, so we’re easier to find. We’re also going to have increased hours of operations, so, again, more accessibility.”

As well as the products Rolling Grocer carried in its trailer, the store will have a bulk section with herbs, spices, nut butters, oils and vinegars, as well as other by-the-pound treats, Berman said.

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The interior of Rolling Grocer’s new store (a work in progress).

The store has a 600-square-foot floor for its products, two storage rooms, and an office.

Rolling Grocer 19 is renting the space from the Galvin Foundation, paying the Hudson real estate developer “slightly below market rate,” Berman said.

Rolling Grocer 19 focuses on healthy edibles, carrying fresh produce, grains, meats and some household products. About 80 percent of its foods are organic.

Its products are sold by a “fair pricing system” wherein the price of a product is decided by the customer’s financial status, including their combined household income, debt, whether they are a senior citizen, and other factors.

For instance, a person making under $25,000 a year would pay 70 cents for a yam. A person making between $25,000 and $40,000 would pay $1 for the same yam, and someone making above $40,000 would pay $1.30.

New customers choose what bracket they fall in, then are discretely entered into Rolling Grocer’s system. The three different prices appear below every product.

More than 500 people have signed up to Rolling Grocer’s system since the operation launched last October.

The “19” in the operation’s name refers to the 19 communities in Columbia County. The opening of the store will allow the mobile trailer to visit other areas of the county in need of healthy, affordable food.

Rolling Grocer 19 will be open 2 p.m.-7 p.m. from Tuesday until Friday, and from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. The store will be closed Sunday and Monday.

Interested in volunteering for Rolling Grocer 19? Contact Berman here.

Correction: This article has been updated to expand on the different ways a customer determines their price bracket.

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