Weaver Street Market, which was founded in 1987 and has locations in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Raleigh, is a grocery store that aims to be "for the community" and "by the community."
The store sources products that are sustainably produced by small, local and cooperative producers.
Weaver Street Market is a hybrid co-op, meaning it is both consumer- and worker-owned. Both customers and employees have the opportunity to purchase a share of the company, meaning they may vote to elect board members.
Portia Hackett, Weaver Street Market's digital marketer and social media specialist, said the Board of Directors decides where the co-op is headed in terms of mission and focus, ensuring the company stays in line with its values. She said they focus on investing in local businesses, food banks and local products.
“Our big focus is not on profits,” Hackett said. “We actually take a smaller margin, enough obviously to be able to run the business and their employees and everything, but we use it to invest back into the community.”
In 2020, the E.Q.U.I.T.Y. Alliance was created when four Black employees — Hackett, Allanah Hines, Breana Staley and Jameson Fuller — came together to target underrepresentation in Weaver Street Market.
“We didn’t see ourselves reflected on the shelves with the vendors, we didn’t see ourselves in terms of reflected in management or the organizations we were supporting,” Hackett said.
She said many change and fundraising ideas come from Weaver Street Market employees, and customers can submit feedback about what organizations they would like to see the company support.
Hackett said Weaver Street Market has raised money for both food- and non-food-based diverse organizations by asking customers to round up to the nearest dollar on transactions. She also said the store has raised money for the North Carolina Black Alliance, North Carolina Asian Americans Together and Asian Focus NC.