All Members of the Co-op are Owners.
You don’t need to be a member-owner to shop at the Co-op, but you may decide that ownership is a good investment. The Co-op is a not-for-profit organization owned, not by a corporation or single individual, but by thousands of community members.
To become an Owner, fill out the New Owner sign-up sheet available at any register and give it to the cashier. You’ll pay a small non-refundable $5 initiation fee. From there, how you pay is up to you. You can spread out your investment or pay all at once:
- $100 in full
You’ll receive our New Member-Owner booklet in the mail in a few weeks, with information about specific benefits of Co-op ownership, store coupons, and a coupon for a free Co-op bag – redeemable if you come on one of our monthly New Member-Owner Store Tours with our Outreach team.
Your member-owner payments are actually loans, refundable to you at any time, that provide working capital to keep our store growing. If you choose to cancel your member-ownership, we’ll refund the money in your account after 90 days.
Those age 62 and over may shop at member-owner prices without paying the fees, but are not eligible to help decide board elections, run for office, or receive patronage refunds. Seniors who wish to vote are welcome to become dues-paying Owners.
A Board of Trustees, elected by current owners, governs the Co-op. Current owners can vote on Co-op ballots, run for the Board of Trustees, and attend general Owner meetings, and thus influence the direction, growth, and policies of the Co-op.
Why Become a MEMBER-OWNER?
A member-owner of the Co-op is more than a consumer! Member-ownership is an investment in the cooperative system, local farms and businesses, and organic and sustainable production methods. As a democratic organization, everyone is entitled to purchase a share of the Co-op—but only one share to ensure that each shareholder has an equal amount of ownership and voting power.
In addition to the satisfaction of owning their own community store, voting rights, and owner governance, Co-op member-owners enjoy other benefits:
- When member-owners first join the co-op, they receive a “Welcome to the Co-op” packet which includes Discounted Product Coupons.
- Our Patronage Program: If the Co-op has been profitable, the Board of Directors will determine whether the Co-op can distribute patronage refunds to member-owners. If the Board approves patronage distribution, we’ll give member-owners a percentage of the previous year’s profits, based on how much money a member-owner spent at the Co-op in a fiscal year. Our fiscal year is the same as the calendar year.
- Through the Co-op Deals program, member-owners receive special prices on hundreds of the Co-op’s most popular items.
- Member-owners receive a 5% discount off the list price on all Books and Calendars and a 10% discount on Special Case Orders in produce and grocery.
- More than a hundred food co-ops across the country honor our Co-op card, so you can enjoy some of their ownership benefits, as well.
- Active member-owners are mailed our bimonthly newsletter, The Natural Enquirer, and the latest issue is always available to view online here. It’s full of recipes, health and nutrition tips, the latest food and food politics news, upcoming workshops, and member-ownership business and meetings. A member-owner is considered active if they have shopped at the Co-op within the last three months.