The new cooperative store at Ballstädt

The local community of Ballstadt created a financially self-sustaining combined village shop and café, which acts as an important meeting place for the local community.

Project summary: 

A local cooperative responded to the loss of local shops and services in the village of Ballstädt (population 700) in central Germany, by establishing a community-run shop and café.

It restored and converted a building in the heart of the village creating a shop, café and meeting place. Efforts included extensive ceiling, drywall, painting and plasterwork, as well as fitting: a kitchen; ventilation and heating systems; and outdoor storage spaces. A small seated area was created in one corner of the shop as a free meeting place.

Project results: 
  • The new community-based store and cafe is providing 70-110 daily customers from the village and surrounding areas with access to basic goods and services.
  • The cooperative store is financially self-sufficient and provides the equivalent of three full-time jobs.
  • The shop quickly became the centre of village life during the day and an important meeting place.
  • Increased the independence of many older local people who no longer rely on others to go shopping for them in nearby towns.