French Broad Food Co+Op

Co-op FAQs and Facts

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What is a Co-op?

 

How can I distinguish a co-op from other organizations?

A co-op is a business, usually incorporated, that sells goods and services. It is not a charitable organization or a social service agency.

Who benefits from the co-op’s existence?

A co-op exists primarily for the benefit of its members. Many co-ops also support other parts of the community through various programs and philanthropic activities as part of their commitment to cooperative values and principles.

Who controls a co-op?

In a cooperative, members democratically control the direction of the business. In most co-ops each member gets one vote. Members elect a board of directors to monitor the business, set goals and hire management to operate their business. Ultimately, the board is accountable to the members for its decisions.

What motivates people to form a co-op?

In private or stockholder-owned businesses, individuals invest to earn a financial return. In a co-op, individuals are motivated by a shared need for certain products or services. By joining together, members gain access to products, services or markets not otherwise available to them. In other words, when forming a co-op members are motivated to become co-owners of the business primarily so that their mutual needs can be met. And co-ops return financial gains to their members, whether through discounts, lower costs or patronage refunds. People join existing co-ops for a variety of reasons. Whether it is the commitment to community, the democratic approach to business, the desire to be part of a business that is locally owned or something else “uniquely co-op” that appeals, anyone can join a cooperative!

Read more on Co-op Stronger Together: https://www.strongertogether.coop/food-coops/co-op-faqs-and-facts

Common Myths About Food Co-ops

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Common Myths About Food Co-ops

For food lovers on the hunt for fresh local produce and healthy, sustainable products, the local food co-op may be a hidden gem. Why hidden, you ask? Many people, including co-op shoppers, are not entirely sure how co-ops work—or how to get involved. Luckily, the most common misconceptions can be cleared up in a snap. Read on to get the real answers to frequently asked questions about food co-ops. You may be surprised by what you find!

Myth #1

I have to be a member to shop at the food co-op.

Fact
Everyone is welcome to shop at nearly all co-ops. Just do your shopping like you would anywhere else. Once you’ve discovered the benefits of co-op shopping, you might want to find out more about the benefits of membership, too.

Myth #2

I have to be a hippie/liberal/vegetarian/etc. to shop at the co-op.

Fact
Same answer: everyone’s welcome. Liberal or conservative, hippie or yuppie, veggie lover or bacon lover—anyone can shop co-op (that means you!).

Myth #3

Being a co-op member means I have to join the board (or work part-time at the co-op, or do something else I’m not really sure I want to do).

Fact
All you really have to do is enjoy shopping at the co-op! Sure, you can run for the board or participate in co-op events if you like, but your level of participation is always entirely up to you.

Read more myths about food co-ops on Co-op Stronger Together at https://www.strongertogether.coop/food-coops/common-myths-about-food-co-ops 

Tell The World You Own It!

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Tell the World You Own It

 

You may be surprised by all the types of co-ops around you. From groceries to health care, co-ops are a vital part of everyday life for people all over the globe. Consider the cup of coffee you enjoyed at breakfast. It was likely purchased from a coffee grower co-op in Africa or Central America. Or the light fixture you’re standing under might be powered with electricity from a co-op owned by people in your community.

A co-op is a business model that allows a group of people to combine their resources to meet their common needs. Grocery co-ops are one such kind of co-op. They are the true pioneers of the natural and organic food industry and they’re deeply committed to providing delicious, high quality, healthy food; supporting local, sustainable agriculture; and strengthening their communities. Cooperatives, including grocery co-ops, are much more than bricks and mortar stores. Cooperatives are built on the idea that local owners, not far-away investors, gain the benefits of business success. Simply put, cooperation is for everyone.

Read more on Co-op Stronger Together:  https://www.strongertogether.coop/food-coops/tell-the-world-you-own-it

 

I Own a Grocery Store with Some Friends

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I Own a Grocery Store with Some Friends

I am probably the last person you would expect to own a grocery store, and yet, I do. In fact, I own three. I am a Midwestern, married suburban mother of two, my car is twelve years old and most of my fashion finds come from the thrift store. I don’t fit the bill for corporate honcho, and my bank account corroborates that truth.

So how do I manage to own not one but three successful grocery stores? I guess in true “industry disruptor” style, I found a unique solution to a common problem: how to get the kind of food I want, and have my voice heard by a place where I shop. That solution is food co-ops. My local food co-op offers me fresh local food, a way to support my community and the opportunity to invest in the co-op, ensuring it remains a resource in our community for good.

Read more here: https://www.strongertogether.coop/article/i-own-grocery-store-some-friends

You Are the Co-op Difference

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You are the reason food co‑ops are here

 

Food co-ops were formed by people in your community who wanted access to healthy, delicious food with reduced environmental impact and less waste, and co-ops remain community-owned and operated to this day. You help co-ops continue this proud tradition every time you choose to shop at one, invest in ownership or tell a friend about your local food co-op. You are the co-op difference.

Thanks to co-op shopper support, local farmers and producers continue to have a market for their delicious food, organic agriculture continues to grow, local food pantries and nonprofit organizations have a strong partner and together we are making progress towards a fairer food system.

People like you make it happen. When you shop at the co-op, your money makes a bigger impact in your local community than at a typical grocery store. At the co-op, your food dollars work to support a robust local economy, a vibrant community and a healthy environment.

Read more here: https://www.strongertogether.coop/article/you-are-co-op-difference