RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The shelves are stocked at Raleigh's first downtown grocery store, Weaver Street Market, set to open for business in The Dillon this Saturday.
Weaver Street Market -- which has locations in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Carrboro -- is a co-op, owned by its shoppers and employees and earlier this year, was the first grocer in North Carolina to eliminate single-use checkout bags.
You don't have to be an owner to shop at Weaver Street Market, but you do need to either bring your own bag or buy a reusable bag at checkout: a signature bag is 99 cents, or a "bring it back sack," good for up to 125 uses is available for purchase for 15 cents.
"We consider selling groceries sort of a means to an end of being able to be a community gathering place and that's really what makes us very special," said Micki McCarthy, manager of the downtown Raleigh store.
Weaver Street is partnering with Raleigh's A Place at the Table, the city's first "pay-what-you-can" café, also located in downtown. Customers who choose to "round up" their purchases will be providing meal tokens at A Place at the Table for those who can't afford to pay for a meal. The grocer has already committed to providing 12,500 free meal tokens.
McCarthy said customers will find plenty of local and artisan-produced products when the store opens Saturday.
Keeping its downtown clientele in mind, Weaver Street Market has devoted nearly half of its space to a large prepared food section where shoppers can hit up the sandwich bar, some hearth-baked pizza, a sushi bar, Asian noodle bar, or Mediterranean section among others.
"Being in an urban neighborhood we recognize that a lot of young, urban professionals don't necessarily have time to cook," McCarthy said. "And so we wanted to be able to bring freshly prepared, healthy meals to the Raleigh community."
In lieu of a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony, Weaver Street Market will host an official "baguette breaking" on Monday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane will be on hand along with other elected officials and Weaver Street's General Manager Ruffin Slater.