In February, the Hendersonville Community Co-op unfurled mightily into its new space at 60 South Charleston Lane, the culmination of over a dozen years of collective vision, brainstorming, and fundraising by its more than 2,500 owner-members.
The HCC, whose roots reach back to 1978, has tripled its retail space and added a vibrant community room. The new facility sells fresh meat and seafood, and, in its Blue Mountain Deli and Bakery, serves up innovative, healthy food and offers indoor and outdoor seating.
Before all the intricacies of planning and execution even began, however, long-time Board of Directors member Laura Miklowitz had a vision.
When she thought of this “bright, new, wonderful” store to be, “I saw sunflowers dancing in my head,” she reveals. At the time, the brick-and-mortar reality was more than a decade away from completion. But once construction on the new co-op was finally underway, Miklowitz began to sow some seeds, reaching out to local creatives to paint their interpretations of the HCC sunflower logo on the tops of the dozen tables in the future deli. After a long selection process, 12 artists of various ages, both professionals and dabblers, were chosen to do the honors.
Some of the designs are whimsical. Others recall works of the masters (Van Gogh, Diego Rivera) or brim with mythology. One table became the project of a local “Juicy Art” class of five high-school students. All of the tables are uniformly radiant, meant to anchor the new gathering place in the community.
The tables were unveiled at the Earth Day ribbon cutting in April, and co-op shoppers have responded with “pride and delight” to the sunflower tableau, says Miklowitz, who particularly enjoys the reaction of children. “They sit at the tables, and they’re just mesmerized.”
See the Sunflowers, visit the Hendersonville Community Co-op at 60 S. Charleston Lane, Hendersonville (off Spartanburg Hwy.), www.hendersonville.coop, 828-693-0505.