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After 45 years in business, Mountain View Market Co-op (MVMC) will close in December, according to a news release from its board of directors.
MVMC opened its doors to the public as the Organ Mountain Co-operative in 1975, at first operating out of a home on Foster Road in Las Cruces. In the early days, the co-op was the city's only resource for foods like brown rice and Celestial Seasonings teas.
As the co-op grew in popularity, it grew in size, eventually settling into its present location in the Idaho Crossings Shopping Plaza in 1994. It expanded once more to add a full kitchen and café and moved the retail operation into the adjoining suite.
For years, MVMC was a one-stop-shop for local and organically grown groceries. It was the only place in town where shoppers could find these specialty foods. However, as national interest in natural and organic foods grew, so too did the competition, such as Natural Grocers and Spouts.
The co-op is no longer generating enough income to stay in business, the news release said. It cannot afford to repay loans and has begun to default in payments to vendors. It has been operating at a loss for years and has crossed the tipping point of being able to stay open.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted the co-op through supply chain breakdowns, product availability issues and a reduction in shoppers.
The board of directors and the interim general manager met with co-op owners Saturday, Nov. 21, in a virtual meeting to announce the decision to close the store.
The store will begin liquidating its assets in a storewide sale. The sale will run from Tuesday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 5, and will end early if the store runs out of merchandise and fixtures. Information regarding the sale will be available on the store's website at www.mountainview.coop.
The co-op will be laying off 19 employees with its closure, all of whom will be given a severance check for compensation. They also will receive health insurance benefits until the store's closure is completed.