Video Clips and Images Courtesy Jill Malouf
RUSSELL ZIEMBA: Honest Weight started and it just…whenever…it pushed out when the need was there. And we always expanded to the next room or that, and, I mean, at every site we had, we had space to expand into.
BETSY MERCOGLIANO: I remember going in there to shop, and it was just like…(better than a basement, though!)…getting by people! Forget carts! You know!
(It was a great space!) It was! (Hated to give it up!) Yup!
REGINA DEW: But it was comfy cozy.
SID FLEISCHER: Yes. It was. It was the ‘excuse me’ co-op.
REGINA: And, but, you know what I noticed? In all your moves, now you’re in the big place, people are still knocking into ya!
BOB FULLEM: You know, you look at the co-op, over the time…back then, we were all, like, 25 or 30 years old. And every now and then, we would get, I’ll say an ‘older person’, like 50 year old person to come in. And we would go, “Yes! See? We’re broadening our appeal!” So, Howard Brent would come in, and he’d be a little older…
MARILYN KAPLAN: But he was always there because he was the plumber!
BOB FULLEM: Now you go to the co-op, and, I don’t know. Maybe my corneas are just wrinkled or something, but it looks to me like, still, the overwhelming majority of shoppers are the same people. Or, similar to the same people that were coming to the co-op on Quail Street.
GARY GOLDBERG: I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a community like that ever. You know? Back then, it was…I’m not even sure we knew how special it was.
ALAN MCCLINTOCK: We were all primarily vegetarians at the time. If we weren’t, we were…
RUSSELL: Fed up with the corporate culture. Wanted to better quality stuff at a cheaper price. (We were poor, too.) That’s right (And we were poor!).
MICHAEL ROLAND: You know, this whole idea of developing community was really important back then. We were all struggling to do that, because coming from the 50’s there wasn’t any. And the early 60’s. It was just mainstream America.
BOB FULLEM: We even had an outreach committee, there were a few of us. I was on it. We went to try to recruit to the senior citizen’s center, to try to recruit seniors. What we wanted to say was, you know, for people on a limited income, you can buy these things for so much less money and the example we brought were spices. That you could buy spices in bulk for a lot less than you could buy in the grocery store. And I remember trying to make that argument to the head of the Albany Senior Services Center, and they just…I mean like we were hippies or something! They wouldn’t let us in! They physically would not let us in to have this appointment to make the presentation! So, anytime we did get some, I’ll say ‘older person’, you know, 45 – 50 years old came in as a member, it was like, “Diversity! Finally we have some age diversity here!”
BOB LINN: You know, your first point about how we were all young? So, Lily is, like, looking through all of these photographs, and then also she got me involved, like, “Who is this?” And, I started going, “You know, young guys with beards, they all look alike!” (Laughter) I’m going, “Is that Howie Mittleman or is that…that Keith?” You know, they’re kinda…..!