A Showcase for Local Products: Cooper's Public Market
By Julia Van Soelen Kim, North Bay Food Systems Advisor
Cooper's Public Market, owned and operated by Marin County native, Dennis Cooper, is a small family owned market on Grant Street in downtown Novato. Cooper’s sells organically grown and sustainably raised fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, meats, bread, honey, and other staples produced within 30 miles of Novato.
Dennis, who grew up in Novato, moved away as a young adult during which time he increasingly got interested in the locavore movement and continued to seek out food from his home county. When he moved back to Novato in 2008 with his family, he was disappointed to find that it wasn’t much easier to buy Marin County food in Marin, and if he really wanted to seek out locally produced products, he needed to drive to local farms and read grocery store labels closely.
Dennis and his wife, parents to a young son, talked often about the idea of opening up their own market that would feature local products. Dennis explains, “We were very serious about it, but it was always a ‘someday’ idea.” Then his wife was diagnosed with cancer, passing away in 2012. For Dennis, this resulted in two things that made him feel the time was right to open up his own market. First, quality of life quickly came into focus and working for someone else—even at a job that he enjoyed—paired with a long commute in and out of San Francisco, no longer felt right. He wanted the opportunity to have a job where he could be close to his son and rooted in his community. Second, his wife’s illness overlaid another important aspect, “the importance of organically produced food for the health of our own bodies and for the health of our environment.”
Dennis offered that the community’s response has been great. Many older folks in the community remark that the market reminds them of how they used to shop. He also explains that for the market to really work, it will take a small shift in thinking with shoppers visiting Cooper’s Public Market first to get their fresh local items, and then continuing on with the rest of their day’s errands.
Cooper’s Public Market is open seven days a week at 1425 Grant Avenue conveniently located in downtown Novato. Stop by to support our many Marin County producers and a new locally owned business.
Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
1425 Grant Avenue, Novato, CA 94947
Visit www.cooperspublicmarket.com for weekly newsletter updates and store specials.
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