story & photo
by Jon Persson
Organic groceries now have a new friend at Fiddleheads in New London. On December 1, Dime Bank officers dedicated a new ATM inside the organic, fair-trade grocery cooperative which for five years has anchored a movement to bring green economics to New London.
The new ATM merges two elements of society and economics; the traditional bank and the New Age, “locavore” grocery store.
Richard Virgin, General Manager at Fiddleheads, explains that this is an important measure of progress in the long-term mission of bringing healthy diets to an urban setting. It’s especially true when the store hosts such events as farmers’ markets, says Richard, where vendors might not be able to accept credit or debit cards.
Making healthy food choices available in urban centers, which some refer to as “food deserts,” is a vital part of improving the health of Americans in our cities. It is also still not a part of mainstream American life, says Richard. He cites a recent report by the Connecticut government identifying ten places to buy food in downtown New London—all were convenience stores, while Fiddleheads, the purveyor of local, organic, fresh, and fair trade foodstuffs, did not garner a mention.
But, Richard recounts, the new ATM is one more step in a process which brings Fiddleheads into the fast-moving present day. While the uniqueness of the store is a throwback to earlier, simpler, more “localized” times, Dime Bank’s ATM brings an element of mainstream technology to the evolving cooperative.