The new home of the Gardiner Co-Op and Cafe will be the old home of Greenhouse Games at 269 Water St.

The location of the proposed grocery store and cafe was announced Saturday night at a celebration for organizers and supporters held next door at Circling the Square Fine Art Press, also known as Art Dogs.

The co-op and cafe will be located on one floor, consisting of about 2,200 square feet.

“It will be an open space mostly,” said Veronique Vendette, of Gardiner, chair of the co-op and cafe board. “It will be a full-service grocery store and a cafe will occupy about a quarter of the space.”

Vendette said the building is located between two art galleries, Monkitree and Art Dogs.

The opening date for the store and cafe is expected to be early in 2015. “We can’t say the exact day,” Vendette said on Saturday because the site will require renovations, but it will be announced later.


In the meantime, the organizers are seeking volunteers to do the work and donations of useful items.

“It’s a project that’s led by the community, and we’re looking for people to get involved and for people to help find used materials, secondhand lumber, secondhand sinks, whatever,” Vendette said. “More volunteers and more in-kind donations will help get the project going faster.”

Vendette said that would allow the group to minimize waste and stretch its dollars.

“We can use the money to purchase more inventory,” she said.

Those interested in volunteering or donating can contact the group via email at [email protected] or call Vendette at 485-0175. The organization also has a website at for those who would like more information or want to join the co-op.

The Gardiner Co-Op and Cafe project evolved from the nonprofit Kennebec Local Food Initiative, whose mission is “to grow the edible economy in the greater Gardiner area.”


The co-op has 158 member-owners and is hoping to reach 360, according to information on its website.

The co-op will be paying rent to a woman who is expected to close on the sale of the building shortly, Vendette said, declining to give the new owner’s name yet. “She’s supportive of the project and excited about us moving in,” she said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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