DEMOCRATIZING OUR GROCERY STORES
Jon Steinman promises a new book about community-owned grocery stores that will change the way you think about
your neighbourhood supermarket.
Deconstructing Dinner’s Jon Steinman is prepared to begin work on a book that will expose the bottleneck of power
that has amassed among of handful of food retailers and will shine a light on the flourishing response to this
dominance that has come in the form of community-owned grocery stores (retail food co-ops). A Kickstarter
crowdfunding campaign to support the book’s development is now 77% funded and the campaign ends at 6am on
August 16. If the campaign meets its goal, the book will become the first of its kind and be titled Grocery Story: The
Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants.
“There couldn’t be a better time for a book about retail food co-ops,” says Steinman. “In Canada today, 80% of all
grocery sales end up in the hands of only 5 retailers. Locally, that percentage is often higher, where only a few
retailers are in close proximity to our homes.” For the growing number of people who are interested in deepening
their connections to the sources of their food and ensuring their food dollars remain in their local economies, the
limited availability of locally-owned grocery stores makes these aspirations much more difficult to realize. Similarly,
for local food producers wishing to access their local marketplace, this bottleneck of power at the retail level presents
often insurmountable challenges. For decades, retail food co-ops have been a proven response to these challenges and
in hundreds of communities across the country, they often become the hub of local food activity and an incubator of
start-up food-based businesses. There are now over 300 community-owned grocery stores across the country.
Through his work producing and hosting the Deconstructing Dinner radio show and podcast and his more recent
television/web series of the same name, Steinman has been reporting extensively on food system issues since 2006.
Throughout that time, Steinman has also served on the board of directors of the Kootenay Co-op (2006-2016) and
spent his final two years as the board president.
“Grocery stores are, by most accounts, the most influential force shaping food systems,” says Steinman. He believes
that grocery stores owned by the people who use them are the most effective way to strengthen local food systems
and local economies. More importantly, compared with their conventional, privately-owned counterparts,
community-owned grocery stores are known to carry more foods grown and produced by people who care deeply
about minimizing the environmental impacts of their production and distribution practices.
The Grocery Story crowdfunding campaign kicked off July 17 via Kickstarter and wraps up on August 16. For $25,
you can effectively pre-order the E-book or for $46, a paperback copy. All backers of the campaign will receive
access to a Q&A with the author when the book is finished and contributions of $46 or more will have their name
printed in the book as a Grocery Story Supporter. Some more notable rewards are also offered. As with any
Kickstarter campaign, the fundraising is all or nothing and the book will only come to fruition if the funding goal is
reached by August 16.
Kickstarter Campaign Page: http://kck.st/2t6H7i4
Web Site: www.deconstructingdinner.com
Jon Steinman, Author