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Community-owned store in the works for Durham


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The effort to bring a community-owned grocery store (a la Carrboro's Weaver Street Market) to Durham just took a few steps forward. Organizers of Durham Central Market ( are seeking the co-op's first owners and put up a Web site.

Organizer Michael Bacon explained via his blog ( that the committee aims to hire professionals who know how to run a grocery store, hence the need for capital to pay those people. "Founding owner" shares cost $100 between now and Oct. 31.

"Yes, right now, you're basically giving us $100 on good faith," Bacon wrote, "but in return you get a fabulous T-shirt, your name listed in the store as a founding owner, a very low owner number ... and the pride of having helped to build a true community-based asset to the city." Organizers are also seeking input via an online survey. What would you like to see Durham Central Market become? Now's your chance to have input.

There's another local dream hoping to become reality: that dream belonging to Sean Wilson, a local beer aficionado, cheerleader and activist. Wilson ran the successful Pop the Cap campaign ( to raise North Carolina's limit of 6 percent alcohol by volume in beer. Since then he's led Pop the Cap 2.0, which aims to support and celebrate beer culture in North Carolina.

But Wilson has long wanted to own and operate his own brewery. So although he hasn't opened the doors yet, he's pulled in partners, given the place a name—Fullsteam Brewery (—and set up a Web site to track progress and solicit community input. Fullsteam's mission is to "develop and define a distinctly Southern brewing style, experimenting with seasonal farmed goods and heirloom grains in the brewing process."

Toward that end, Wilson has declared Pop the Cap's Mission 2.0 a success; beer culture is thriving all on its own. You can join him and other beer lovers during a beer dinner Aug. 26 at Poole's Downtown Diner (426 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, 832-4477, Poole's Chef Ashley Christensen will serve a six-course feast with beer pairings. Cost is $75 per person, plus tax and tip, and reservations are required. Congratulations to Wilson, and full steam ahead!

I wrote about free wine tastings a few weeks ago, and with gas prices and belt-tightening all over, I'm still searching for free food-related activities. I found a free cooking class at Cary's Savor Hospitality (815 W. Chatham St., Cary, 468-0515, Savor offers a full slate of cooking classes, covering topics such as sauces and sautéing. It also offers a free cooking class, which is an introduction to the cooking school. The next one is at 6 p.m. on Aug. 11. Instructors will "discuss the history of cooking, demonstrate basic knife skills and the five different methods of using heat to cook." Advance registration is required.

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