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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

Weavers Way Co-op Celebrates Five Years Supporting Local Entrepreneurs and Businesses Through Vendor Diversity Program



Weavers Way Co-op proudly marks the 5th anniversary of its groundbreaking Vendor Diversity Program as it continues its mission to empower local makers and artisans of color. This visionary program, which fosters diversity and supports underrepresented entrepreneurs, has seen tremendous success in its first three years, and now it's gearing up for an exciting expansion into Germantown, serving the community’s BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) members and customers.


Founded in 2019, the Vendor Diversity Initiative has become a beacon of hope for BIPOC and women-owned businesses in the Greater Philadelphia Area. The program offers selected vendors invaluable assistance and support to help bring their products to market. Weavers Way Co-op has exceeded expectations by providing coveted shelf space at all three existing locations and additional local stores, amplifying the visibility and reach of these local businesses.


In its first year, the program showcased the remarkable talents of local baker Alicia Short. With a menu boasting over 35 different pie variations, Alicia's small business quickly gained recognition as the program's inaugural vendor. Over the past three years, the Vendor Diversity Initiative has welcomed an array of talented local entrepreneurs to its ranks, including:

·       Adelie Coffee

·       Aaji’s 

·       Alicia's Cream Cheese Cupcakes & Pumpkin Pies

·       Amira's Vegan Muffins

·       Càphê Roasters

·       Hank's Cinnamon Buns

·       Luminous Intentions

·       Mt. Airy Candle Co. 

·       The Pudding Guy Will 

·       Urban Essence Soap

·       Candles by Vicki 

Over the course of its five years, these remarkable vendors have contributed to the vibrant tapestry of products available at Weavers Way Co-op, enhancing the shopping experience for all members and customers. The Vendor Diversity Program’s success goes beyond offering shelf space; it extends to providing resources and expertise. Weavers Way Co-op supports entrepreneurs in areas such as packaging, logistics, production scaling, and operations optimization to achieve commercial-level capacities.


"It is amazing to see how much this initiative has grown in the last four years. This initiative reinforces the co-op's longstanding mission of supporting and celebrating diversity," said Finance Administrator Candy Hasan, who originally led the program at Weavers Way.


"Helping local business owners achieve their goals is something we take immense pride in.”

Now she passes the torch to Danielle Sellers Mitchell in a newly dedicated role as the Vendor Diversity Program Coordinator. With Weavers Way Co-op's Germantown store on the horizon, this expansion will further emphasize the co-op's commitment to serving the BlPOC community. The program's focus on health and beauty products tailored to local needs will provide a platform for new and exciting ventures in Germantown.


“I’m really excited to be working with amazing creators like Alaffia so that we can build core health and beauty sets for our diverse communities and specifically source products for people of color so that we offer affordable haircare and skincare to our customers,” said Sellers Mitchell. “As a lifelong member of both Weavers Way and the Germantown community myself, it’s important to recognize that so many stores offer a one-size-fits-all model for their beauty products that often further marginalizes under-represented groups. The Vendor Diversity Program at Weavers Way tackles those issues head-on, with the goal of listening to the community and providing what they need.”


For Weavers Way, supporting BIPOC businesses is essential to creating an inclusive and equitable community. By offering opportunities and resources to these entrepreneurs, Weavers Way continues to make a meaningful impact on the Greater Philadelphia Area. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary and looks forward to the future, the co-op remains committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of its operations. Additionally, the co-op continues its practice of serving non-members as customers, removing the barriers of a traditional co-op membership program.


For those interested in becoming a vendor at Weavers Way Co-op or learning more about the Vendor Diversity Program, please visit weaversway.coop.

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