The new cooperative store at Ballstädt
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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.
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.
- 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.