The Merc Co+op Considers Expansion in Kansas City, Kansas

View our Expansion page for the most recent information and Frequently Asked Questions.

The Merc Co+op has signed a non-binding letter of intent with The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas (UG) to open a grocery store at the corner of 5th and Minnesota in downtown KCK. They are now in the process of negotiating a management agreement. 

“We are excited about this potential opportunity in Kansas City. We are not bound by contract at this point, nor determined store design or product selection,” said Rita York Hennecke, General Manager. “That said, we look forward to working with the KCK community to discover what neighbors would want in their store.

The UG approached the co-op over a year ago as part of their efforts to revitalize the downtown area. In that time, they have demonstrated how much they value having a locally owned grocery store that has the capacity to meet the diverse economic and cultural needs of the community.

The co-op’s mission is focused on providing access to healthy food and creating a robust, sustainable local food economy within the region.

“As a co-op we are committed to serving and educating communities, supporting local growers, and becoming a contributing partner within our neighborhoods,” said Nancy O’Connor, Education & Outreach Director, The Merc Co+op. “We fully understand what it means to support the communities where we do business, and are committed to serving KCK through an expansion of the co-op.”

Since 1974, The Merc Co+op has provided communities a place to shop, gather, eat and learn by offering real food and sustainable products at reasonable prices through cooperative ownership and responsible commerce. The co-op is a livable wage employer with nearly 100 employees, and operates a full service grocery store and deli at 901 Iowa as well as a cafe at the Lawrence Public Library. Currently, The Merc Co+op is owned by over 7,700 co-op members.

“The food co-op model creates a community gathering space that fosters partnerships and builds relationships,” York Hennecke said. “We look forward to introducing a different kind of grocery store to Kansas City, a cooperatively-owned one, where everyone can shop and anyone can become an owner.”

Read more about this project in our latest newsletter:

For more information, contact the co-op at or 785-843-8544.