How do I become a member? All you need to do is fill out and submit a short membership form, either online or a paper form, and then pay the membership fee, all at once or in installments. As long as you keep making installment payments toward the total fee, you are considered a member with voting privileges.
If I’m not a member can I still shop there? Absolutely!
How do I pay? You can pay by mailing a check in with a printed form, either downloaded from this website or from one of our printed brochures, or by PayPal through this website after filling out and submitting the online form. If you are someplace where Kat Wolfram is, you can pay via the swiper that she has on the Co-op phone.
What if the unthinkable happens and you don’t open. Will I get my money back? Yes, up to $200.
Do I have to pay all at once? We accept installment payments. Online, we are only set up for $20 or $50 installments, but you may make payments of a lower amount by mailing in a check. As long as you continue to make annual payments toward the $200 goal, you will be a voting member.
Once I pay the full amount, will it be for life? We hope so, but it’s possible that the membership could decide that it needs to raise money for some unforeseen reason.
Some co-ops require members to work. Will you require that? Our bylaws state that members will be asked to work 1 hour per year unless the board approves an exemption. That hour may be something as simple as folding brochures or making phone calls. Our business model does not depend on volunteer work hours because that would necessitate our insuring those workers and paying into unemployment.
Will you carry bulk items, and what does “bulk” mean? Buying in bulk means that the item is not in individual packages. You bring a container to fill and you pay by weight or volume. We plan to carry bulk items such as spices, grains, or cooking oils.
How will my membership money be used? Until the Co-op opens its doors, the first $200 of membership fees will be held in a bank account so that we can refund it should we decide not to open. Members who pay $500 or loan money to us can expect their money to be used for things like advertising, legal fees, office supplies and other things that the Board approves as something that will further our goal of opening a cooperative grocery.
When will you open? We believe that we will be able to open when we have 1,000 members.
Will the store create jobs? A few once we open, more as we grow. Right now we’re all volunteers. Once we open we will need a couple of paid cashiers and a general manager. Eventually, we will probably need managers for individual departments. We will need people to help process produce when it come in, but we might use our members doing their 1 hour of volunteering for that at first.
How can I help now? Join us for events, invite friends to join the Co-op, host a house party, nominate yourself or another Member Owner to serve on the Board of Directors, invite us for a presentation to a community group, join a committee, send articles to newsletters of organizations to which you belong, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, write grants, use other skills you have to move us forward.
In what ways are your board members qualified to serve? As of 12/2013 our board consists of an attorney, an accountant, an engineer, a trainer/housepainter/caterer, a graphic artist/English teacher, and a detail oriented biologist who has devoted herself to learning how to start a co-op by going to business bootcamp, reading, and talking to anyone she can find with pertinent experience.
Have you talked to other cooperatives for advice? Yes! We continue to seek and receive advice from all of the local cooperatives, as well as cooperatives all over the country. Cooperatives cooperate with one another as a part of their ethos.