Weavers Way Supports Vendor Diversity in Philadelphia

Co-op's annual program highlights local makers and artisans of color
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Headshot
Weavers Way Will the Puddin Guy Main Image
Over the years, Weavers Way's Vendor Diversity Program has welcomed various talented local entrepreneurs to its ranks, including Puddin' Guy.

As it observes National Co-op Month and its own 50th anniversary, Weavers Way Co-op is marking the fourth anniversary of its successful Vendor Diversity Program, which highlights local makers and artisans of color in the greater Philadelphia area. The program offers selected vendors assistance and support to bring their products to market. Beyond offering shelf space, it aids entrepreneurs in such areas as packaging, logistics, production scaling and operations optimization to achieve commercial-level capacities.

Over the years, the initiative has welcomed talented local entrepreneurs to its ranks, including Adelie Coffee, Aaji’s, Alicia’s Cream Cheese Cupcakes & Pumpkin Pies, Amira’s Vegan Muffins, Càphê Roasters, Hank’s Cinnamon Buns, Luminous Intentions, Mt. Airy Candle Co., Reveal Avocado Seed Brew, Sequoya and Jaylin’s Gourmet Foods, Puddin’ Guy, Urban Essence Soap and Candles by Vicki.

[Read more: “Wakefern Announces Winners of Diverse Supplier Summit”]

“It is amazing to see how much this initiative has grown in the last four years,” noted Finance Administrator Candy Hasan, who originally led the program at Weavers Way. “This initiative reinforces the co-op’s longstanding mission of supporting and celebrating diversity. Helping local business owners achieve their goals is something we take immense pride in.”

Danielle Sellers Mitchell has now taken over management of the program as Vendor Diversity Program coordinator as Weavers Way prepares to expand to a new location in the Germantown community of Philadelphia.

“I’m really excited to be working with amazing creators like Alaffia so that we can build core health and beauty sets for our diverse communities, and specifically source products for people of color so that we offer affordable hair care and skin care to our customers,” said Mitchell. “As a lifelong member of both Weavers Way and the Germantown community myself, it’s important to recognize that so many stores offer a one-size-fits-all model for their beauty products that often further marginalizes underrepresented groups. The Vendor Diversity Program at Weavers Way tackles those issues head-on, with the goal of listening to the community and providing what they need.”

For Weavers Way, supporting minority-owned businesses is essential to creating an inclusive and equitable community. Additionally, the co-op is continuing its practice of welcoming non-members as customers, removing the barriers of a traditional co-op membership program.

Weavers Way is a member-owned cooperative grocery with locations in Mount Airy, Chestnut Hill and Ambler, Pa., with a fourth store opening in Germantown in 2024. It also operates two Philadelphia farms. 

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