BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A food-buying club in Bed-Stuy hopes to grow by crowdsourcing funds for a new brick-and-mortar storefront.
Bed-Stuy Bounty is a food-buying club that lets members buy farm-fresh, organic food online in bulk and have it delivered to a location in Bed-Stuy.
Owner Melissa Danielle, who started Bed-Stuy Bounty last year as a way to bring healthier food options to the neighborhood, hopes to use the storefront as a way to help her expand her membership and also provide healthier food to those in the neighborhood who aren't members.
"I'd like members and non-members to be able to shop between the online ordering," she said. "There are limitations to the buying club. It cuts out people on food stamps, and people who decide not to make purchases with debit or credit cards."
On Friday, Danielle began raising funds through the website Credibles.org, a crowdsourcing site made specifically for funding food businesses.
Danielle said she's reaching out to the community rather than to banks because she wants her members to feel a sense of ownership in the store.
"This is really about building community and empowering the community to invest their food dollars in an establishment they're really committed to," she said.
Donors receive a one-year subscription to the food magazine Edible Brooklyn, and donors who contribute more than $75 receive free food from the buying club.
The space, which Danielle hopes will be located in a more underserved section of Bed-Stuy east of Malcolm X Boulevard, would offer food to anyone in the community at retail prices, in addition to giving members discounts.
It would also operate as a members "clubhouse," where Danielle said she would hold food education seminars, cooking demonstrations and wellness coaching. She plans for members to be able to hang out there and take their children there.
Danielle plans on opening the space three days a week — Thursday, Friday and Saturday — and said the hardest part will be dealing with the learning curve of operating a store.
But the move is the next logical progression for the club, she said.
"I've been thinking about it since I started," Danielle said. "It's just time for it to grow and be a little bit more."