July 22, 2014

Boulder's only food purchasing co-op has closedThe Second Kitchen Food Co-op opened only ten months ago in the University Hill neighborhood of Boulder, but its board of directors recently voted to close the shops doors citing financial troubles. The Second Kitchen was Boulder’s only co-op, servicing roughly 215 households with a client base ranging from amateur cooks to those with advanced culinary certificates. These households were typically comprised of between one  and four people, though several of them featured between 11 and 30 people.

Nonetheless, these numbers weren’t enough to sustain The Second Kitchen, which took an unexpected hit this year as they  encountered lower than expected sales and then found themselves facing a raise in their rent if they renewed their lease. Ali Kammerling, the membership coordinator for The Second Kitchen, told The Daily Camera that the vote to close the store came on the 17th of June and that the official closing occurred at the end of the business day on June 30th. This expedited closing, Kammerling indicated, allowed the cooperative to pay off the rest of their rent, as well as  their vendors, suppliers, staff and initial investors.

The Second Kitchen did not go out without a fight, having hosted a public event on Wednesday, June 25, in order to brainstorm ideas to attempt to save the market or discuss possible new incarnations for the operation. Regrettably, though, it seems that at least for now The Second Kitchen is no more. Cooperative food purchasing markets have historically had a rough run of things in Boulder, a city typically known for its expansive and celebrated food community. Before the closing of The Second Kitchen, Boulder’s only co-op was The Boulder Co-Op Market, which closed and filed for bankruptcy in 2007. Though Boulder now has no co-ops within the city limits, there is one in Boulder County. The Mountain People’s co-op in nearby Nederland has been open and operating since 1979.