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Lexington Co-op reaches $2 million goal for new Hertel store

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Plans to build a second Lexington Co-Op market in North Buffalo are moving ahead, now that the popular member-owned grocer has reached a successful conclusion to its capital campaign.

The Co-Op, which raised $1.7 million earlier this spring but then eased up on its fundraising efforts for the summer, resumed its active campaigning and raised enough to exceed the $2 million goal over the past four weeks. The money will allow the Co-Op to proceed with its plan to convert the former CVS store on Hertel Avenue into a second store.

"We are hoping to be open on Hertel in early summer of 2016," said Lexington Co-Op general manager Tim Bartlett. "We expect our portion of construction to begin in December or January."

The Co-Op has already been before the Buffalo Planning Board to detail its plans, but Bartlett said he does not anticipate any snags in that process.

The Elmwood location, which has been open since 2005, will remain in business. In fact, some member-owners are hoping a second store will benefit the Elmwood location... by taking some customers north.

"We had many people from the Elmwood Village who invested in this project to create a space for the North Buffalo owners to shop at, to reduce pressure on the parking lot here at Elmwood," Bartlett explained. "We're definitely expecting some of the business from this Elmwood store to move over to Hertel."

The Co-Op currently reports $12 million in annual sales, with 1,400 customers visiting the store daily. More than 12,000 people are enrolled as member-owners.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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