Food co-op transforms vacant lot in Bowdoin-Geneva

Brianna Macgregor, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 11, 2013

The Topliff/Bowdoin Street lot now programmed by the Dorchester Community Food Co-op will open on Sat., July 13 and activities will continue on various days throughout the summer. Photo courtesy DCFC

A formerly vacant lot at the corner of Topliff and Bowdoin Streets is opening to the public this Saturday as a functional park area. In addition to the recreational area, which includes cafe tables and chairs and raised bed planters, the Dorchester Community Food Co-op is currently in development for the site.

The Co-op will be a community and worker-owned market providing economic opportunity and healthy, affordable food. Additionally, the co-op will create jobs and have space for social entrepreneurship, education, arts, and healthy living.

The Sustainability Guild, an organization that takes vacant lots in Dorchester and Roxbury and turns them into gathering spaces, has been working with residents to rehabilitate the lot for the past year.

“Last year, we renovated the lot,” said Jhana Senxian, Board President of the the Dorchester Community Food Co-op and Founder of Sustainability Guild International, referencing the site’s preliminary opening event in December. “This year, we’ve been able to beautify it and make it functional for our community.”

This Saturday, July 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., residents are invited to come to the site and meet the architects and organizers of the Dorchester Community Food Co-op. According to Senxian, the developers are looking for the community’s ideas, goals, and support.

The Co-op development project has one year to break ground, and according to Senxian, it will a year of building a community of partners and supporters, as well as raising money for the project.
As well as providing a place to purchase food and learn about healthy living, the Co-op will be a center for education, culture, and social entrepreneurship.

“This event is about celebrating collaboration, celebrating present usage of the site, and celebrating its future development,” said Senxian. Currently, developers are looking for people in the community interested in sharing their skills and teaching lessons in language, music, art, etc. If interested, please contact Jhana Senxian at 617-930-6508 or