The Christian Science Monitor

Village store revival? German towns opt for community over big-box retailers

When retailers closed their doors one after the other in Farchant, Germany, Peter Böhmer took matters into his own hands and rallied villagers around resuscitating the local dorfladen. Source: Isabelle de Pommereau

It’s noon on Saturday in this remote village of 3,800 nestled in the foothills of the Austrian Alps. Life inside the dorfladen,
or village store, is in full swing.

Villagers gather to chat over a cup of coffee, grab their daily yogurt, or purchase local wurst. Peter Böhmer, the banker-turned-founder-and-manager of the five-year-old dorfladen, navigates between shelves of various staples and stacks of cheese before swinging over to a group of women seated by the window. He balances a tray of macchiatos served in porcelain cups.

Outside, a rainstorm is brewing. Inside the store – a 1,400-square-foot food co-op of sorts – life is good, like

Improved quality of life“New ideas every day”

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