Owner Feature  - Meet some of the owners that are making the Co-op a reality. This month we feature Jennifer Hartwell and Ritch Mettert.

Hello! We are Jennifer Hartwell and Ritch Mettert and we are proud members of the Columbus Food Co-op. 

We joined the Columbus Food Co-op in 2012 after we relocated to Columbus in the summer of 2011. 

Jennifer is from North Vernon and Ritch is from Seymour. We met in 1994 and were married in 2001. 

We lived in Greenwood from 1998 to 2008 and then spent three years in Madison Wisconsin while

Jennifer was completing her pediatric residency. It was while we were in Madison that we began to

change our methods of consumerism. We started to make an effort to shop and eat locally

and began to realise the benefits of fresh foods over processed foods as we slowly eliminated fast food

from our diet. When we relocated back to Indiana we were looking to get involved in the community

and make connections with like-minded individuals. We have found both of those qualities in the 

Columbus Food Co-op. We especially look forward to being able to buy local, fresh meats, 

and produce, once the store is open.

Jennifer is a pediatrician at Columbus Pediatrics and Ritch is the head brewer for the Seymour

Brewing Company.

We enjoy travelling within the US to areas with nature trails, national monuments and

microbreweries. We have been supporters of the People's Trails as well and frequently use those 

to make our way around Columbus.

We hope that others will consider joining the co-op to help boost the health and wealth of our


Columbus Food Co-op Site Announced

COLUMBUS, INDIANA—Columbus Food Co-op held their Annual Meeting Wednesday

evening, April 26, at Columbus City Hall. During the meeting, Dan Fleming, a member of the

Co-op Board and Chairman of the Site Selection Committee announced that the Co-op has

signed a Letter of Intent to occupy an 8,400 square foot space at 1580 Central Avenue. The

Letter of Intent was signed this week between the Food Co-op directors and landlords John

Counceller and Andrew Counceller.

“This is a great location for the Columbus Food Co-op. It is centrally located on a busy city

street. It is easily accessible by public transportation. There’s diversity in the surrounding

businesses. A real plus for the Co-op is that the landlords are also Co-op owners. John and

Andrew Counceller will be outstanding partners as we work to open the Co-op grocery store,”

said Mike Johnston, Board Chair of Columbus Food Co-op.

Columbus Food Co-op is a community-owned food cooperative working to bring a full-service

grocery store that provides more local and wholesome foods and products to Columbus and the

surrounding area. While not everything in the store is sourced locally, first year sales of local

food and products are estimated at $500,000, jumping to $2 million by year 10 of operation. The

location on Central Avenue is 8,400 square ft., providing 6,000 square ft. of retail space. An

initial store layout and design is being developed. Detailed project plans are under

development. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018 and the store is expected to open

in late 2018.

In addition to the store location, the Co-op announced three new staff additions:

Katie Novak, the Outreach Coordinator for Green Top Grocery in Bloomington, Illinois will act as

an advisor to the Owner Loan Campaign. Katie led Green Top’s successful Owner Loan

Campaign, which raised $1.5 million from their Owners and community partners.

April Williams of Columbus will join the team on May 1 as Owner Loan Campaign Coordinator.

April is a marketing and communications professional with a successful track record in

numerous Columbus initiatives. She has assisted multiple nonprofits in reaching their

development goals and most recently, as Development Director for the Columbus Park

Foundation, led capital projects including Race2play Park Improvements, People Trail

Expansion, Hamilton Ice Arena Renovation, and Columbike Bikeshare Program, raising over $4

million in community assets for the City of Columbus.

Anita Doyle has joined the team as Outreach Coordinator, a role previously held by SaraBeth

Drybread. Anita was born in Nuneaton, England and grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

She has experience in local economic development and business development. Among her

responsibilities, Anita will lead the Co-op’s Owner Growth initiatives, helping us reach our goal

of 1500 Owners by the time the store is opened in 2018.

For more information about our Columbus Food Co-op, how to join, or general questions, browse

www.columbusmarket.coop or find us on Facebook.


Where can I find my Co-op? 



What's happening? 

  • BIG NEWS: New site for the co-op was announced at the Annual Meeting on 4/26. 
  • The Hometown Food Guide is released! View the map & download the pdf directory of local farms in the Columbus area. 
  • Part of the path ahead is finding more and passionate volunteers. Do you care about the co-op like we do? Here is the volunteer form! We'd love to hear about what your interests and talents are. Everyone has special gifts they enjoy and it feels great when they are put to good use.  

About Columbus Food Co-op

We are a start-up working to bring a food cooperative to Columbus, Indiana! 
Mission: The Columbus Food Co-op will serve and strengthen the community by providing wholesome foods and products while practicing and encouraging sustainability.

Learn more:

Food Co-ops are on the Rise

"There is a growing thirst among consumers to vote with their dollar and to buy from places where business is being done fairly..." 

A Food Co-op in Your Community

A great 10 minute video to learn about the true difference and value in a food co-op.


Do you like this page?