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Pass the kohlrabi! Greene-Hill food co-op is set to open • Brooklyn Paper

Pass the kohlrabi! Greene-Hill food co-op is set to open

Pablo Anwar is putting the finishing touches on the Greene-Hill Food Coop, a Putnam Avenue version of Park Slope’s much-imitated members-only supermarket.
Photo By Stefano Giovannini

Praise the gourd and pass the kohlrabi — Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s version of the Park Slope Food Co-op is set to open on Saturday.

The private supermarket on Putnam Avenue — where members work shifts in exchange for cheaper prices on organic produce, grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs and milk in glass bottles — was getting its finishing touches this week after a multi-year ramp-up.

“We have a lot of leaders now and we’re not going anywhere,” said DK Holland, a founder of the worker-owned market. “We’re totally committed to this.”

The shop near Grand Avenue already has 560 members, many refugees from the legendary Park Slope version, which has about 15,000 more.

Holland predicted that her co-owners would avoid some of the political battles that have brought international attention (and plenty of mockery) on the original co-op, which made headlines when it got rid of bottled water, considered banning Israeli products, and finally accepted debit cards roughly 30 years after they became widely accepted by pretty much everyone.

“We’re pretty much on the same page at this point,” Holland said. “No one’s saying, ‘Hey, why are you carrying meat?’ ”

Instead, Greene Hill will carry what its members want, even if that includes commercial products such as — gasp — Heinz ketchup and bleach.

Erin Brof, a Park Slope Co-op member who’s on Greene Hill’s Membership Committee, acknowledged that some outsiders may view the co-op as a vegan cult or, as Gawker called it, “an oppressive Communist hierarchy,” but added that locals should join now so that they have a voice in how the fledgling cooperative evolves (or how it is intelligently designed, that is).

“It’s just wonderful to be a part of having control over where your food comes from,” Brof said. “We’re providing healthy food at low prices — it’s a great choice for your family or yourself. Get in now and be a part of the decision-making!”

To join, members must make a one-time investment of $175 and commit to working a two-hour shift every four weeks. The store accepts cash, checks, credit cards and food stamps.

Greene Hill Food Co-op [18 Putnam Ave. between Downing Street and Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill, (718) 208-4778]. For info, visit greenehillfood.coop.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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