· By Grace Mittl
Co-ops Explained: You Can Own Your Local Grocery Store?
Have you shopped in a grocery co-op before? If you have, then you immediately recognize them for having awesome local produce and products, friendly staff people, and an ambiance that is welcoming and warm.
If you haven’t before, or are unfamiliar with what they are, a grocery store co-op is a type of business that operates such that customers are also owners and active participants in the business.
Unlike traditional grocery stores like Publix and Kroger where the relationship is very transactional, co-op customers are considered owners and have the opportunity to make change and be active members in the growth of the store.
We proudly sell our single serve snacks at the Fredericksburg Food Co-op in Fredericksburg, Virginia. A few of their perks in becoming a member, for just a one-time membership fee of $200, includes a voice in the Food Co-op’s governance, patronage dividends when the store becomes profitable, and 10% additional discount on Co+op Deals.
Grocery store co-ops are formed as a way for customers to have more control over their shopping experience, to build relationships with their community members, and to support a business model that aligns with their values. They can vary in size and structure, from small community-based co-ops to larger regional or even national co-op chains!
Absurd Snacks is available at the Friendly City Food Co-op in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Their upcoming Owner Appreciation Day is August 18th-20th where co-op members receive an extra 10% off. We’ll be there sampling and hanging out and we’d love to see you there!
Co-ops go beyond just food, too. Check out REI’s Co-op Membership page and all the perks of becoming a member. Just to note a few, they include say in board election, 20% off services, and 10% back annually on purchases.
Interested in becoming a member? Find your closest co-op here!