Common Myths and Facts About Co-ops

Myth #1 – You have to be a member to shop at the co-op.

Fact – Anyone is welcome to shop at any co-op just like any other big chain grocery store!

Just do your shopping like you would anywhere else. The difference about being a member are the benefits and perks you receive versus a person that is not a member.

Myth #2 – Only hippies, vegetarians, liberals, and rich people shop at the co-op.

Fact – The products sold in a co-op store reflect the members that own it.

Whether you’re a meat eater or a vegetarian you will find all types of similar produce and products as you will find in any other grocery store. Difference is the choices are usually better quality at a price that’s affordable for all shoppers within the community.

Myth #3 – 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 – Although we would love for everyone to participate on the board or in the store it is not mandatory for you to shop 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.

Myth #4 – I have to pay an annual fee to be a member of the co-op.

Fact – To become a member of most co-ops, you invest a small amount of money in the form of shares.

Most co-ops allow you to buy them all at once or over time (but most member benefits start at once). Your shares make you a co-owner of the co-op along with the other members. If you decide to leave the co-op for any reason, there is a process to get your investment refunded.

Myth #5 – Why should I become a member? I’m not going to get anything out of it.

Fact – There are definite benefits to becoming a member of a co-op.

For instance, members can vote in co-op issues, so they get a say in how the co-op operates and where it spends its money. And speaking of money, when the co-op turns a profit, members may be eligible for a patronage refund in proportion to their purchases. There’s also a host of other member benefits that are specific to each co-op

So even if you only shop at the co-op once a month, the benefits are likely to exceed your investment, and you’ll get to play a part in a vibrant community resource.