Address: P.O. Box 1133, 4 Ellsworth Rd., Blue Hill ME 04614 / (207) 374-2165
About Us / Blue Hill Co-op Community Market & Cafe History: People in Blue Hill Maine really care about food. Eaters of all persuasionslive here: heritage meat grazers, diversified organic farmers, vegans whorun animal sanctuaries and vegans who run schools for children. Manyinnovative, outside-the-box thinkers, passionately pursue their chosen pathwhere the rolling glacial tilth meets the rocky ragged shore. The Blue HillCo-operative Grocery and CafÃ© sits right in the middle, selling foodfrom local farms and cottage purveyors, as well as organic products fromall over the world. Begun as a bulk-buying club in 1974, the Co-op now hasaround 1100 owners. The total population of the area is about 8000, makingCo-op ownership a popular form of local support. With 26 year-roundstaff-members, the Co-op is the fourth largest employer on the Peninsula,which is how coastal dwelling Mainers reckon area. You are either â??onthe peninsulaâ?? or â??off peninsulaâ?? at any given moment. Thereare a few peninsulas, islands and lots of inland area in Hancock County,which claims both the eldest median age population in Maine (itself themost aged state in the union) and the healthiest. Co-op owners typify bothof these statistics. The space itself is small, around 1800 square feet foralmost 10,000 items. The staff works creatively to make it feel bright,relaxed and open.Â The deli serves delicious fare daily, pleasing abroad range of diets and tastes. The bulk, grocery and wellness departmentsall do brisk business. Produce, given the prevalence of farmersâ??markets and farm stands, thrives, perhaps because of the localsâ??craving for fresh vegetables. So intimate are the folks who live here, thatlocally grown produce and meats are often thought of in relation to theperson who grew them, or by the farmâ??s name. â??King Hill carrots,Horsepower Farm potatoes, Eliotâ??s eggs, Phil & Heatherâ??s beef,Tinder Hearth breadâ? and many, many more are all commonly heard inconversation. It makes for very close-knit community. The folks are drawnhere from all over the world, to apprentice on the myriad farms, to find aquieter life, to be artists, to live the â??goof lifeâ?? like theiriconic forebears Helen and Scot Nearing. In the 1950â??s when theNearings moved to the area, farming and writing books, igniting theâ??back to the landâ? movement, did they imagine this day? Anothericonic local group is The â??Local Food Local Rulesâ? movement,which has helped towns across Maine and the country pass ordinancesprotecting citizensâ?? rights to private contract when buying food fromeach other. These two groups overlap somewhat, and encompass a wide swatheof political beliefs, eating practices, and philosophies. They share manythings: a desire to thrive without many of the trappings of overarchingconsumer culture, a devotion to the soil and sea themselves, a unity withindiversity, where vegans, pescatarians, heritage breed hog raisers, microscale raw dairy farmers, grass-farmers, hopeful homesteaders and any numberof iconoclasts can be found sharing coffee, soup, and lively conversationin the sunny Co-op cafÃ©.