Quabbin Harvest started from conversations among friends and neighbors.
- Some Orange residents wondered why the national supermarket chains in their town didn’t carry more local foods, like coffee from Dean’s Beans processed right around the corner.
- Local-food enthusiasts wished they could access seasonal bounty from the many small farms in the area in one central location.
- Area farmers were looking a local wholesale outlet for their products, to reduce travel and marketing time.
- People working to conserve farmland realized it wasn’t enough to protect the land from development—farms could only thrive as part of a strong local food system.
- Community developers trying to rebuild struggling downtowns were looking for more ways to keep money circulating in the local economy.
Those ideas all came together in the vision for a cooperatively-owned store that could serve as a food hub for the North Quabbin area, an anchor business and community gathering-place in downtown Orange, and an alternative to long-distance, large-scale food supply chains.
At the heart of this vision is the idea of rooting and sharing resources close to home. It’s something that feels increasingly important as the effects of the changing climate become clearer and legacies of long-standing disparities and divisions sharpen questions about what a truly just and sustainable future would look like.
Starting with a buying club for fresh produce in 2009 and then a tiny part-time store in the Orange Innovation Center, Quabbin Harvest expanded to a six-day-a-week storefront in 2014, in partnership with Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. We’re proud to be creating jobs, keeping money circulating in our area, purchasing from area farms and other food businesses, and contributing to our community’s health by providing good food for all. Find out more about our story here.
Click here to read our Bylaws.
And here's a short video from 2017 with some of our members, volunteers, and staff talking about what the co-op means to them.