Neechi Commons Hours: » Supermarket: Mon to Sat 9 am – 8 pm, Sun 10 am – 5 pm; » Restaurant: Mon to Sat 9 am – 5 pm; Sun Brunch 10 am – 2 pm » Arts Store: Mon to Sat 10:30 am – 6 pm; Sun 10:30 am – 5 pm; >>catering & special events: anytime.
Location: 865 Main St. (at Euclid Ave.), Winnipeg, Manitoba.
* In-store Flyer: December 2 – 12, 2014: Please click on page to expand; return arrow gets you back.
* Neechi Niche – an awesome array of gift items supplied by 145 artists, artisans and authors, most of whom live within walking distance of Neechi Commons! And Neechi sells Gift Certificates ($5, $10, $25, $50, $100). They can be used at 865 Main Street in Neechi Niche, the supermarket or the restaurant, or at our corner store at 325 Dufferin Avenue.
* Check out our revamped grocery displays! – Great prices + community benefit! – We are working very hard to build the customer base needed for long-term success. Please think Neechi when you think shopping.
* Upcoming Events hosted at the Commons by Neechi Niche. – Please check out the Art and Cultural Events page of our website for more information about upcoming events including:
~ Indians Don’t Cry: re-launch of an urban First Nations classic with readings by renowned author George Kenny, Saturday, Dec 6, 2 – 4 pm.
~ Children of the Earth High School abORIGINAL Student Co-op arts & crafts sale, Sunday, Dec 7, 1 – 4 pm.
~ Art Exhibit by Linus Woods, Dakota Ojibwa artist, from Long Plains First Nation, Nov 12 – Jan 5.
~ UM Beading Circle – open to all; Sundays 2 – 4 pm.
~ The Strength of Her – photos and artwork by seven young Aboriginal women (project of Wahbung Abinoonjiiag), upcoming: please check back via the Neechi website for specific time.
* Enjoy the spiral staircase or take the elevator for beautiful art, craftwork and books in Neechi Niche, and great restaurant fare at Come N’ Eat Restaurant. Our well stocked supermarket is on the main floor, complete with our Three Sisters Fruit and Vegetable Courtyard, Kookum’s Bakery and a full-service meat section. Community atmosphere everywhere!
* Neechi Niche carries Mother Earth Tobacco, organic tobacco for ceremonial purposes. Neechi has a long-standing policy of providing ceremonial tobacco while, for health reasons, not selling cigarettes. In 1990 our corner store on Dufferin Avenue became the first grocery in Winnipeg to not sell cigarettes, far ahead of the pharmacies! This is because we have always understood the connection between health and community economic development.
* We are pleased to announce that on July 16, 2014, Winnipeg City Council voted to provide Neechi with a “Strategic Economic Incentive Grant” in recognition of the valuable employment, cultural and community building role of Neechi Commons. Here is a link to Neechi’s presentation to the Executive Policy Committee prior to the Council meeting: Winnipeg – EPC 2014 07 16
* Manitoba Hydro Power Smart TV ad featuring Neechi Commons: http://youtu.be/QQS_LA2dgNg
* Neechi Foods Co-Op Ltd. is the winner of the 2013 Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award from the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba! Here is a link to photos of the Award event at the Winnipeg Convention Centre: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39774696@N07/sets/72157637022998345/ (click the return arrow to return to the Neechi website)
* Neechi is a signatory to the Manitoba Food Charter www.foodmattersmanitoba.ca/content/manitoba-food-charter).
When you visit Neechi Commons you will see a lovely wall painting that symbolizes the spirit of our Three Sisters Fruit & Vegetables Courtyard. “Three Sisters” refers to the classic indigenous vegetables, corn, beans and squash, that grew only in the Americas before European contact. The painting was done as a gift to the Commons by renowned artist, Jackie Traverse.
- Inside the Commons you will also see what was originally a sidewalk art piece commissioned by Take Pride Winnipeg and located on Portage Avenue. It includes a sketch of Elijah Harper. The art piece was donated to Neechi by the artist, Tom Andrich, a few weeks before Elijah’s passing. Elijah was one of the ribbon cutters at the Grand Opening of our corner store on Dufferin Ave. in January 1990.
- We welcome suggestions that can make the Commons increasingly attractive to a wide range of customers. If you have comments to offer please e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dear friends, Open Letter to Winnipeg Re: NEECHI COMMONS This letter is being circulated by the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation on behalf of the signatories listed below. These individuals are active in a cross section of co-operative and community economic development organizations as well as in universities. The letter is intended to let you know about a remarkable sister Co-operative that is blazing a trail in empowerment for its members and social justice in the community. A Co-op doing such principled work that it elevates the name of co-operative enterprise and by reflection enhances all of our reputations. We are talking about Neechi Foods Co-operative in Winnipeg (865 Main Street, at Euclid). This Co-op needs your patronage and support. Louise Champagne, the president of the Co-op and long-time leader of the enterprise, shepherding it through more than 23 years of operations and meeting all challenges, recently accepted the 2013 Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award from the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, on behalf of the Co-op. In her acceptance speech Louise made the following comments: “Neechi Foods Co-op Ltd. is a worker cooperative. This is a form of economic democracy that encourages staff to develop a sense of business ownership. Neechi means “friend”, “sister” or “brother” in Cree and Ojibwa. On March 19 this year (2013) we held the Grand Opening of Neechi Commons, our beautiful, 30,000 square foot, community business complex at 865 Main Street, for which we received a Green Globes award for high environmental standards. Previously we operated a nearby, small corner grocery and Aboriginal specialty store for 23 years. In Neechi’s early days we drew up a list of community economic development principles: • creation of goods & services that are used locally • purchases of locally produced goods • local reinvestment of surpluses (profits) • employment and training of local people • community-oriented business ownership • community health and • human dignity We were the first grocery operation in Manitoba to not sell cigarettes – ahead of the pharmacies! At our old store we have always had a children’s fruit basket, subsidized by the staff, where the previous owner sold cigarettes, war toys and Barbie dolls. We also have run various diabetes prevention programs and played a key role in neighbourhood efforts to push back street prostitution and other gang activities that became rampant in the mid 1990s. All along we have understood that economic healing is needed to sustain personal and social healing. This is the context in which Neechi Commons was born. We have taken what we did at our old store to a much higher level, including a strong focus on regionally harvested and processed foods, a lovely art store and gallery, a restaurant and catering service backed up by an impressive commercial kitchen, a well equipped bakery, and a neighbourhood supermarket with a fruit and vegetable courtyard, freshwater fish and full meat service.” Neechi Commons needs your help to achieve its goals. It hopes to become the cornerstone for the revitalization of commerce in a Winnipeg neighbourhood that has faced long-term economic hardship. The Co-op has created over 50 new employment opportunities for aboriginal youth and other neighbourhood residents. Neechi Co-op has not chosen an easy path focused only on commercial viability. It has chosen to blaze a trail to be a transformative venture in the same spirit as other Co-operative pioneers. Its success will not only be a beacon of light in its local neighbourhood but also a shining example of the inherent power of the Co-operative form of enterprise to change lives for the better. The most obvious and simple way that you can support Neechi is by purchasing products at the Commons. Another way that you can help is by signing up for Neechi’s weekly e-mail promotion and updates, at email@example.com . Your support can help to ensure the success of this Co-operative enterprise. In the words of Louise Champagne: “We will remain heavily focused on achieving the commercial profitability needed for long-term business and community success. Neechi Commons symbolizes how Aboriginal People can regain control of land and economic decision-making within a modern community context.” Sincerely yours, • Cindy Coker, Executive Director, SEED Winnipeg • Hazel Corcoran, CWCF Executive Director, Calgary • Kaye Grant, CWCF Communications Manager, Winnipeg • David Kerr, Co-op Consultant, Winnipeg • Richard LeMoing, Director, Manitoba Co-operative Association, Minnedosa, MB • Marty Donkervoort, Social Enterprise Consultant and Instructor, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg • Shaun Loney, Executive Director, BUILD (Building Urban Industries for Local Development) • Greg O’Neill, Co-operative Developer, Calgary • Brendan Reimer, Regional Director, Canadian CED Network – Manitoba • Dr. Claudia Sanchez-Bajo, Chair of Co-operative Enterprises, University of Winnipeg • Lucas Stewart, General Manager, Manitoba Green Retrofit Inc., Winnipeg • Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Professor, Native Studies & Director, Aboriginal Business Education Partners, University of Manitoba