Northwest Philadelphia institution Weavers Way Co-op will mark 40 years since its founding with a gala anniversary celebration Sunday, Oct. 13, at the historic Cliveden estate in Germantown.
Since 1973, "the Co-op" has been an iconic community fixture, serving as a social and political hub as much as a beloved grocery store.
Founded as a neighborhood food-buying club, Weavers Way has grown by leaps and bounds. Two stores, two urban farms and a nonprofit later, Weavers Way is well known as a leader and advocate in multiple areas affecting Philadelphians’ health, well-being and quality of life.
And now it’s time to party!
Hundreds of Weavers Way members, neighbors, friends and casual acquaintances are expected at this free-and-open-to-the-public celebration. It will feature food, live music, kids’ activities, commemorative T-shirts and the unveiling of a Weavers Way 40th anniversary beer created by Mt. Airy’s Earth Bread + Brewery.
More than a dozen vendors, including local favorites John & Kira’s, Jyoti Indian Bistro and Vesper Brothers, will sample their products in the Taste Fair tent. Still hungry? The Weavers Way Grill Team will sell favorites off the barbie, includingMartin’s sausages, veggie burgers and hot dogs of all kinds.
A mini farmers market will offer some of Weavers Way Farms’ finest produce, along with apples, pumpkins and mugs. Limited edition 40th anniversary T-shirts will be available for purchase.
Among other fun things to do will be a hula-hoop field for the kids and a Photobooth to preserve the day’s memories. And speaking of forever, the Weavers Way Board of Directors is organizing a time capsule to be unearthed at the Co-op’s 80th birthday. (See you in 2053!) The 1767 Chew House will be open for visits from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., with docents on hand.
Earth Bread + Brewery brewmaster Tom Baker has created a special biere de garde pale ale in honor of the anniversary, incorporating herbs from the Weavers Way Farms.
The beer’s name, chosen by Weavers Way’s expert panel of judges from entries submitted by members and shoppers in a Name That Brew! Contest, will be revealed at the General Membership Meeting around 4 p.m.
Other community groups will be at the party too — from fledgling co-ops to a skills bank to area schools. They will be hosting activities and will have lots of information about what they’re up to. Come and meet some of the folks who make Philadelphia a wonderful place to be.
Long time "double and triple digit" members will receive a special invitation and will be honored at the event for their contributions to the life and spirit of the Co-op.
Cake from the Night Kitchen Bakery in Chestnut Hill will top off the day. (Vegan cake available too, of course!)
Admission is free. Tickets for food and activities will be sold on site. Co-op members who attend will receive 4 free tickets per household.
In addition to the 40th Birthday Bash at Cliveden, Weavers Way is also celebrating its anniversary with:
— A Web gallery of pictures from the Co-op’s four decades in Mt. Airy and, since 2010, in Chestnut Hill. Visit weaversway.coop to view the images.
— A special edition of the Shuttle, the Co-op’s monthly newspaper, featuring a keepsake section of photos of Weavers Way people and events and a timeline of the history of the Co-op and “The Rest of the World.” Copies are available on request.