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!
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.
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!).
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.