Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

There is life at Mandela Co-op

By cburt
Friday, October 31st, 2008 at 5:46 pm in economic development.

So, I wandered by the Mandela Foods Cooperative storefront earlier this week, and lo and behold, the doors were open and construction workers were busy laying concrete inside.

People have been wondering when, or if, the co-op will ever open, so it’s good to see something happening there. Part of the problem was it took way too long to get permits. Co-op director Nathan Cheng told me before the August groundbreaking that they had applied in March and didn’t get approval until summer.

Obviously the planned September opening was delayed, but now at least it seems as though things are moving pretty fast. The electrical and plumbing are in, and as soon as the concrete work is done, the sheetrock crew will move in to finish the interior walls.

The co-op has its share of naysayers, but I can tell you that even when nothing visible was happening at the storefront, the worker/owners were meeting once or twice a week for months to get trained on all aspects of running a business. Let’s hope that translates to success.

It's not open yet, but things are taking shape inside the Mandela Foods Cooperative on Seventh Street.

It's not open yet, but things are taking shape inside the Mandela Foods Cooperative on Seventh Street.

Interior shot of work being done inside the Mandela Cooperative market
Workers are laying concrete inside the Mandela Foods Cooperative on Seventh Street. The plumbing and electrical are installed, next comes the sheetrock.
Steve Nillson of El Sobrante is laying concrete in the Mandela Cooperative market storefront. The plumbing and electrical is in, sheetrock is next.

Steve Nillson of El Sobrante is working for the Dieden Company, laying concrete in the Mandela Foods Cooperative storefront on Seventh Street.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

One Response to “There is life at Mandela Co-op”

  1. Cecily Burt Says:

    Max,
    Your implication that I am a PR rep for Nancy Nadel is way off base. The Mandela Foods Cooperative is not Nancy’s project, although she and the West Oakland Project Area Committee have supported it. The feature about Nancy’s chocolate business just happened to coincide with the launch of this blog, but I make no apologies for it. It’s an interesting story.

Leave a Reply