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Cope's Newsstand Closing in Sylva and ...

Monday, December 12, 2011


From last week’s The Sylva Herald: "Cope's Superette on Mill Street is closing after 49 years. Owner Tanya Calhoun said it's not because of the economy but because she's ready to something else. The store was started in 1962 by her father, Ed Cope, and Calhoun has owned it since her mother, Ann Cope, died in January 2006. She's closing the business rather than selling it because she doesn't want anyone else operating the store under her family's name, she said."

How can this closing, for whatever reasons are driving this decision, not be of concern for those of us invested in and living in our area? At the same time, I am reminded, 

Opportunities abound all around us . . . Cope’s closing strikes home on every level, it has truly become a community landmark in its 50 years existence. Whenever I give directions to Eric’s Fresh Fish Market Sylva location, most people already know where Cope’s is and where to get copies of the New York Times and local papers.It hurts to see them close. But, as a community, perhaps, we can find ways to reinvest and take over that INCREDIBLE! location, infuse our Sylva community?

I’ve been reading and passing around copies of Amy Cortese’s book, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It.  (click here) since discovering it last spring when her brother, Pete Cortese (who cuts fish and works with Alice in Sylva) let me know his sister had just published a book. While the ideas presented in her book may not be that new, truth is, her research and examples and practical understanding of them, along with fresh ways and living examples to practice these time proven truths of community offer a blast of hope and fresh air, especially during these tough times.

From the back cover: “Locavesting is a call to rethink the way we invest, so that we support the small businesses that create jobs and healthy, resilient communities. Just as ‘Buy Local’ campaigns have found that a small shift in purchasing to locally–owned enterprises can reap outsized benefits for a local economy, so, too, can a small in our investment dollars.” 

From Cortese’s book, chapter 11, "From Brown Rice to Biofuels: Co-ops on the Cutting Edge," her first example is a local Micro- BREWERY (Heinzelmannchen’s ?) that has found success through community investment. Cortese defines Cooperatives as, "Cooperatives are associations run for the mutual benefit of their member-owners....Co-ops can be worker owned, consumer owned, producer owned, or buyer-owned associations--or sometimes a combination...." (161)

Considering the Cope’s location and other empty buildings and storefronts across our area, along with Cortese’s ideas presented in her book, "Locavesting", available @ Sylva’s City Lights Bookstore (click here) and Franklin’s Books Unlimited (click here), opportunities abound in our area to pool resources together, find ways to reinvest in our communities and re-energize our economic base.

I'd love to brainstorm with you re: this and other opportunities, to share resources and infuse our communities with new life. Tonya may not be closing b/c of business but we all know how difficult it is to make a living these days.

What do you think? (Post a Comment and/or Email Eric)