On May 13, 2012, St. Dominic Parish opened the doors to the Fair Trade Store, a project developed by Fr. Clint Honkomp, O.P. in cooperation with faculty from Regis University. The primary goals for the store was one of community building, environmental awareness and support of Fair Trade Products.
The store offered common staple goods, those generally purchased at least once a month, at competitive prices. These common products (soaps, beans, rice, toilet paper) were sold in reusable containers that parishioners could come and “fill up” after the Sunday masses. The original mission of the store was to provide healthful products at a price parishioners could better afford, and in quantities that suited their purchasing habits. In addition to offering better quality food/household products, the store was fostering environmental awareness by eliminating packaging waste and promoting locally produced goods. In this way, we hoped to provide the opportunity for parishioners to save a little money, while at the same time being good stewards of the local community, the environment, and the global community.
UPDATE February – 2014
In the first two years of the store being open we learned a few things. For example, if we didn’t expand our product offerings to include products like coffee and chocolate, we were not going to be able to maintain customer interest. Since we only provided beans, rice and lentils , we didn’t provide enough variety for our parishioners to go out of their way to support us.
It was decided at a meeting on February 24, 2014, by a group of interested parishioners and staff that we should no longer sell dry goods i.e. beans, rice and lentils, and that we should focus our sales on Fair Trade certified products like – Equal Exchange -coffee, chocolate, tea, dried fruit and nuts. We also decided to move the sales, at least temporarily, to the church just to see if our sales improved.
The committee plans to continue to explore ways to support Fair Trade.