South Side Food Co-Op to Reopen April 20

New managers hired, grand reopening planned

The Eat To Live Food Cooperative announced in a public video April 7 it plans to reopen later this month and has appointed an interim general manager and assistant general manager to run the store, which has been closed since mid-December 2013.

Jeremy DeChario will serve as the interim general manager and Brandi M. Woolridge as the assistant general manager. According to a press release, DeChario also works as the general manager at Syracuse Real Food Co-op and has more than six years of experience working in roles from cashier to management. Woolridge has served on the Eat To Live board since June 2015.

“The Board is extremely excited that Jeremy and Brandi have accepted their roles at Eat To Live, and we are confident that they will help the co-op fulfill its mission to be a constant resource for the community,” said board president Joseph Bryant in a press statement.

This community-owned grocery store, located at 2323 S. Salina St., plans to hold its grand reopening from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, featuring a celebration, food samplings, cooking demonstration and share information about the benefits of becoming a food co-op member.

Co-op memberships cost $100 or can be paid in $10 installments (with a $5 processing fee) and can be obtained by emailing

Last year at this time, the board received additional funding, including $10,000 from an anonymous donor and a commitment of $5,000 each from The Allyn Foundation, Gifford Foundation and Central New York Community Foundation. The board said the money would be used to reopen and hire a manager.

Sign that hung on the food co-op entrance in December of 2013. | File photo

The 3,000-square-foot grocery store held its grand opening Oct. 15, 2013 and closed two months later after the Dec. 17, 2013, annual membership meeting. The closing appeared at first to be a temporary shut down for the holidays. At the start of 2014, co-op board members said the store was not making the money needed to keep the operation running and they had to close in order to restructure and search for a new general manager.

The former general manger, Jim Diamond says he left at the end of October 2013 because he and the board “could not come to agree on how the business should be run.” The board terminated his position.

The idea for the co-op started as early as 2006 by The Southside Community Coalition, a group initially organized by Syracuse University, to fill a void by offering fresh produce to residents of the South Side, which at that time was considered a food desert.

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— By The Stand staff

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