Last weekend, Feb. 4 and 5, GreenTree Co-op Market at 410 Broadway St. in downtown Mt. Pleasant celebrated its new location with a grand opening celebration, providing deals and giveaways for shoppers.
The new store is an economic boon to the community.
“With our new store, we created 17 new jobs and are able to buy more from Michigan farmers and producers,” said Sarah Christensen, the general manager of GreenTree.
The store has been in Mt. Pleasant for decades, but in 2021, GreenTree moved to a new, larger location four times the size of the old one, with apartments located above it.
A local staple
GreenTree is not new to the area. Initially, the store was not a store at all – it was a grocery buyer’s group founded in 1970 by a student at Central Michigan University. The group eventually began distributing and selling products to buyers outside of the group.
In 1977, the Mt. Pleasant Food Co-op opened its doors at 214 N. Franklin St., near downtown Mt. Pleasant. In 1991, the name was changed to GreenTree, representing the focus on organic and healthy foods. At the Franklin Street location, the store underwent a bevy of changes, from a new freezer to the creation of an on-site deli.
Eventually, GreenTree’s continual growth necessitated a new location.
“Their recent expansion into their new building allows GreenTree to increase their product lines and support of local farmers and producers to meet the growing interest in healthier food options and products,” said Deena Kalbfleisch, the membership director for the Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce.
Since its conception, GreenTree has focused on locally grown produce and organic products. The store also has a wellness section with supplements and other health items. At the new location, GreenTree also serves hot food from its deli, featuring a rotating menu for each day of the week. Anything from curry to fried rice is served.
GreenTree is not the only local grocery store in town, but it is the only co-op in town. That means citizens of Mt. Pleasant can invest in the store and have a say in what products appear on the shelves.
It is also the only grocery store in town that focuses on providing organic foods and local products.
New location, new opportunities
GreenTree’s new location is on Broadway Street, the main artery of Mt. Pleasant’s downtown area. This location is closer to other businesses and areas with major foot traffic.
“With its location right on Broadway Street in downtown Mt. Pleasant, GreenTree connects the downtown businesses with the surrounding parks and the Chippewa River,” said Chris Rowley, the executive director of Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.