What’s a Co-op?

People have been working together since the beginning of time to achieve good things. A co-op is the result of what can happen when people pool their resources together to achieve a common goal. The business created is voluntarily owned and controlled by the people who use it. In our case, over 17,000 people have invested in our co-op by becoming member-owners. In return, the co-op operates for the benefit of these people, our member-owners, and is guided by the articles & bylaws they approve.

Cooperatives around the world look to seven internationally recognized principles to guide them. These are:

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Member economic participation
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Education, training and information
  • Cooperation among cooperatives
  • Concern for community

By adhering to these principles, we stay connected to our member-owners, to our community, and to the global cooperative movement.

Interested in learning more about the co-op movement?
Check out this short film about food co-ops in the Twin Cities, produced by Massachusetts-based filmmaker Steve Alves. Food for Change: The Twin Cities Story showcases food cooperatives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota, an area with the greatest concentration of food co-ops in the country. “I wanted to explore what happens when food co-ops have a strong presence in a region and the effect that has on jobs, local food, and local economies. Big agribusinesses and giant grocery chains are changing our country’s food system. Food co-ops are one of the few entities that stand in opposition to them,” said Alves.

These organizations support and promote co-ops nationally & internationally:

National Co-op Grocers – Co+op Stronger Together
National Co-op Business Association
International Co-operative Alliance