The hype began in Fall 2015 when word of a new apartment complex and grocery store arose in the Cornell neighborhood: Green Star Natural Food Market, a Ithaca-based co-op specializing in fair-trade, natural and organic products. The store has been a long-time vision of Josh Lower, owner of Collegetown Crossing, LLC and Cornell alumni, who has experienced and witnessed the struggle to find fresh, healthy and affordable groceries in the Collegetown area. Together with the executive team at Green Star, the store aspires to serve the student community.
Last April, a town hall meeting was held in Anabel Taylor Hall for students, residents of Collegetown Crossing and the Ithaca community to come together in establishing the store’s vision. Students stressed the demand for “ready-to-eat” and “grab-and-go” options necessary for busy student schedules, as opposed to solely raw, unprepared foods. Many also discussed the need to cater towards diverse diets on campus and to ensure affordability.
What can we expect from GreenStar’s Collegetown location? “Delicious prepared foods to eat in or take away for any meal of the day, [including] sandwiches, salads, dips and more!” says Nathaniel Foster, GreenStar’s Collegetown store manager. Though there is an emphasis on ready-to-eat foods, shoppers can still find what lies in GreenStar’s core — organic, local and seasonal offerings supporting the local community. Most of its meals are made in its West Buffalo Street kitchen, and customers are welcome to grab a free coffee on the way out. A variety of dietary options are available, catering to vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc., to suit Cornell’s diverse food culture.
In the future, Green Star hopes to host tasting events, work with student organizations, and offer samplings of their own recipes. In the meantime, everyone is encouraged to provide feedback on product selection, community engagement or just grab a coffee!