French Broad Food Co+Op

Open Daily: 8am to 8pm
(828)255-7650 | 

Open Daily 8am to 8pm
90 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

French Broad Food Co-op is owned by more than 3000 Owners, governed by a Board of Directors, and operated by a paid staff. Owners have always been the backbone of the Co-op, supporting it financially and participating in governance. As a cooperative, we are committed to being responsive to our Owners and shoppers. This can best be accomplished when the Board reflects the wide diversity and interests of our Owners.

Learn about the 2024 Board Election here.

The Board has three primary duties.

  • To ensure sound management of the co-op
  • To act as trustees on behalf of the membership
  • To set long-range goals and plan for the future

To fulfill these responsibilities, the Board of Directors focuses on four key areas:

  • Hiring and evaluating the CEO
  • Financial oversight
  • Long-range strategic planning
  • Recruitment of replacement director

Owners are invited to join us at our monthly board meetings, which are held upstairs at the co-op in our meeting space from 5:30-7:30pm on the third Thursday of every month. During the meetings, a period of 10 minutes is set aside for owners to speak directly to the Board. Please note that board members do not generally respond to the owner comment period, although the feedback is certainly taken into consideration. 

What does the board do?

The French Broad Food Co-op Board of Directors is the body elected to represent the ownership, and hold ultimate legal responsibility for the operations and actions of the co-op. The board ensures sound management of the co-op, acts as trustees on behalf of the membership, and sets long-range goals and plans for the future.

What does the board NOT do?

The board does not make operating decisions for the store, choose products, nor do they supervise staff other than the general manager.

When and where are the board meetings?

Owners are invited to join us at our monthly board meetings at the Co-op. 

How long is one term?

One board term is three years.

What is the monthly time commitment for a board member?

The total monthly time commitment varies throughout the year depending upon committee assignments and intensity of board work. Generally, directors can anticipate putting in between 3-12 hours a month. Directors are expected to attend the annual meeting for owners and be present for at least nine monthly meetings per year, per term. They are also expected to spend 1-2 weekend days a year at the annual board retreat.

What are the committees of the board?

Currently, the committees are undergoing a revamp, therefore the only active committees are the Finance Committee and the Elections/Nominations Committee. Committees can be made up of owners-at-large, board members, and staff members. Each committee develops and recommends plans and policies that are passed to the board for approval.

How do the board and committees make decisions?

Guided by the French Broad Food Co-op bylaws and consensus decision making practices, the members work together to build consensus.

Will there be training for the newly elected board members?

Yes! All newly elected board members will receive training on consensus decision making, finance, organizational overview, and more.

Who is eligible to run for the board?

  • Board seats are open to all current owners (account must be current as of September) of the co-op who have accurate contact information on file and agree to meeting the board requirements (below).


  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Must be an owner in good standing to serve on the Board of Directors. Applicants who are not owners will not be turned away.


  • Attend at least nine monthly board meetings per year (third Thursday of each month, 5:30-7:30 pm), board retreats (1-2 weekend days per year), the annual meeting for owners, as well as occasional co-op events and special meetings scheduled on short notice as needed (these are rare).
  • Have frequent, reliable access to phone and e­mail to read and respond to emails between meetings.
  • Read and study co­-op bylaws, policies, articles of incorporation, industry articles, information on the board’s governance model, and other co-­op related material.
  • Serve on, and possibly chair, a board committee.
  • Commit to a term of three years.
  • Work cooperatively with other board members to monitor, evaluate, and consult with the general manager within the decision-making process of the board.
  • Uphold the duty of loyalty by disclosing potential conflicts of interest, not compete with the cooperative, and honor confidentiality.

What if I face a challenge that prevents me from fulfilling the requirements or qualifications?

We want to hear from you. Please contact should you face any barriers to applying.

How do you run for the board?

Elections are held following the Annual Meeting of Owners. 

What happens after you apply?

The board and staff will prepare the election materials for the October elections. Candidates will be notified within a week of elections closing and voting results will be posted in-store and online.

Will there be an opportunity to communicate to the ownership?

Yes! Each board applicant is invited to make a short statement to owners at the Annual Meeting in October (video is available if you cannot be there in person). Answers to the questions in the application will be publicly available to the ownership.

Are board members compensated?

Board members receive a 20% discount on most store purchases.

Why should you consider becoming a board member?

Governing an organization effectively is a serious commitment, but if you care about the direction of the Co-op and want to get more involved, then becoming a board member may be for you!

Directors are expected to prepare for and actively participate in monthly board meetings, full-day cooperative board leadership training, and 1-2 half or full-day retreats (length and frequency depends on availability). While this may seem daunting, the board is a team, sharing responsibilities to make board work a manageable part of a director’s life. The monthly time commitment ranges from 3-12 hours. The board term is three years. Directors may not be elected to more than two consecutive terms.

In return, directors:

  • Receive training in governance and cooperatives.
  • Build skills in group-dynamics and group process.
  • Enjoy dinner from FBFC at each board meeting and receive a 20% discount on all FBFC purchases throughout board service.
  • All expenses of training and retreats, including food is covered.
  • Have the opportunity to ensure the success of their community-owned cooperative in a highly-competitive market.
  • Create and nourish a healthier environment, healthier people, and a healthier community