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Gem City Market In Final Stages, Plans To Open Early 2021

A rendering of the Gem City Market, a building on a corner with a green painted front, trees, people walking, and a bus coming down the road.
Gem City Market Facebook page

After over five years in the works, the Gem City Market is in its final stages before opening. Organizers expect the community-owned grocery store in northwest Dayton to open in January or February of 2021. In the last week, the store surpassed its opening goal of 3,000 members.

Over the course of 2020, the corner of Salem and Superior Avenue has transformed from a construction-site filled with concrete and steel beams to a brand-new building with big glass front windows.

Organizers are now making final decisions about things like the design of the aisle signs and what kinds of prepared food the store will have.

A portrait of Leah Bahan-Harris. She is smiling, wearing a denim shirt and light-colored headband.
Gem City Market Facebook page
Leah Bahan-Harris is Gem City Market's general manager.

At the November public meeting, General Manger Leah Bahan-Harris said the store will represent the community and be a safe space where everyone is welcome.

“That's the culture that we're going to breathe into the community, that no matter who you are or where you're from, this is a place for you,” she said. “But remember, it's the community that built this place. So we're going to represent our community.”

Anyone will be able to shop at the store, but members will have access to certain promotions and sales. Membership costs $100 or $10 for those with a fixed or low-income. Residents in the store’s trade area zip codes (45402, 45405, 45406, 45416, 45417 and 45426) are eligible for a limited number of discounted memberships priced at $50. Premier Health is providing matching funds for those memberships.

The cooperative market is just shy of its goal of having half its members come from its trade area zip codes. It is currently accepting volunteers to help with spreading the word to increase membership.

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.
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