Member-Owner FAQs

I’m moving. How can I update my address with the co-op?
Just send us a message on the Connect page with your name, member-owner number and new address. We’ll get your account updated right away. Depending on the timing within our production schedule, you may still receive one newsletter at the old address.

I’m moving far, far away. What happens to my membership?
You have a couple of options. You should definitely update your address with us so that you will receive any patronage dividends issued the following October. If you do nothing, the membership will be deactivated after 18 months have passed without you shopping. This will cause mailings and membership benefits to cease. The membership can be re-activated at any time by shopping again (perhaps if you visit?).

Or you may choose to request a refund of your membership equity if your membership is paid in full. We hope you’ll use the funds to invest in another co-op near your new home! See below for how to refund your membership and click here to look for a new co-op where you are moving.

My name is changing. How can I update my name with the co-op?
Just send us a message on the Connect page with your previous and new name and member-owner number. We’ll get your account updated right away.

I’d like to give my membership to someone else. How do I do that?
Unfortunately, we cannot transfer stock ownership to anyone outside your household. Our bylaws specifically prohibit this. Because it is a household membership, we CAN refund your membership and use those funds to purchase one for someone else in your household (using the same membership number) in one easy process. This requires the stockholder to fill out a quit claim form (to relinquish the stock) and the Board of Directors to approve it. Then the stockholder’s name can be changed to the new stockholder’s name in the household. The process can take up to a month, as it is dependent on the schedule of Board meetings.

A member-owner passed away. What happens to the membership?
The surviving partner or executor of the estate has a couple of options:
• Deactivate the membership, leaving the equity invested in the member-owner’s name to continue to benefit the community and cooperative. Mailings will cease.
• Complete a quit claim form for the deceased, requesting to change the stockholder’s name to that of another household member. The membership stays active in that new name.
• Complete an equity refund request form for the deceased, requesting a refund of the membership to be issued.

I want to request a refund of my membership investment. How do I do that?
We hate to see you go, but understand that circumstances change. First, your membership must be paid in full to be eligible for a refund. (Not sure? Just give us a call or email to ask our service desk to look up your payment status). Then the stockholder should fill out a membership equity refund request form and return it to us. Next the Board votes on this refund at their next monthly meeting. It may take up to 6 weeks to receive your refund check.

I was a member-owner decades ago, but haven’t shopped. Am I still a member-owner?
It is very likely! We’ll need to look up your membership to check the status to be sure. Please send us a message on the Connect page with your name (including any previous names you went by and other household members’ names that the account could have been listed under, or even the address you lived at back then). Most likely your account is inactive and will just need to be re-activated by shopping and/or making an equity payment if that is not paid in full. Please note that in 1990 the price of membership stock at Mississippi Market went up from $6 to $80. All member-owners were given the choice to continue membership at the new rate or discontinue membership. Those who discontinued in 1990 are not found in our current system and will need to start fresh with a new membership.

What is a patronage dividend?
Patronage dividends (also known as patronage refunds) are your share of the co-op’s profits, distributed back to you. Once our Board knows our profit for the fiscal year (July 1-June 30), they will decide what amount is appropriate to be retained and what amount should be distributed to member-owners. Then that total dividend amount is divided amongst member-owners in proportion to the amount they spent over the past fiscal year.

How much is a patronage dividend?
The amount of your patronage dividend depends on: how much profit the co-op made, what major expenses are planned for the next year, and how much each member-owner spent last year. Each year the Board must weigh these considerations to determine how much (and if) a patronage dividend distribution should be made. Shopping only occasionally may mean a dividend of a few dollars each year, while being one of our top shoppers could mean you receive over $100!

Note: The dividends are not taxable income if the purchases were for personal/household use.

When do I get a patronage dividend?
Each October you will receive an annual report for the cooperative and a report of your own spending with notification of the dividend. These are usually distributed as an electronic credit that may be spent at the register.

Note: If you are a member with the LIME membership payment plan, your patronage dividends are applied to your membership equity until you have reached the full $90 for the membership. After that point, you will receive dividends just like other member-owners.

I forgot my member-owner coupon from the Market Medley. Can I still get my discount?
Sorry, but we do need to have your actual coupon to give the 10% discount. Just save your receipt from today’s purchase and bring it in with the coupon next time you shop. We’ll give you the cash back then.

Can you make the member-owner coupons electronic so I can’t forget them?
We hope to be able to offer this service someday. Right now our register software does not allow for cashiers to see if a discount has been used within a designated time period at either of our stores. Just as soon as this feature is available, we will put it into place!