So many people ask me " what does my membership get me?" I answer as quick as I can but I’m never really able to get to everything because what your membership gets you is not easily quantified in lists and tangible benefits. What you really get as a member- owner is pride, pride to be a part of something great, to join the local food revolution, and above all to support your community!
Membership in a cooperative is not only about discounts and refunds, it’s not just about local food, it is truly about community. The most important benefit is that YOU OWN IT! You own a portion of the co-op; it’s your store, your friends' and neighbors' store. You show pride in your community as we grow into a store that serves the people of this town. Without our members and our volunteers, we would not be able to keep our doors open. Without everyone’s help we will not be able to achieve our full potential!
We are a smaller cooperative and started with not as many members (capital) as we would have liked. We chose however as a group of owners to proceed with opening our doors and we are still here after one year. We thought that more members would join and more people would shop once we actually were open. They did and we are getting more members and shoppers every day. As we get more members and more shoppers the work load increases. Without volunteers we would need to hire more staff and that means more money spent instead of saving towards our future or putting it back into our cooperative.
Cooperatives are able to start and succeed with such small capital because they rely on volunteers to help run the store, to treat it like their own, and to invest time in its' future. We have plenty of jobs that can be done- picking up orders, working the register, packaging produce, putting away orders, doing inventory and much more . As we approach our one year mark our number of volunteers is still very limited. Our co-op will not be able to sustain itself, much less grow, with the overhead of additional payroll. This is why it is so important that you as a member-owner volunteer if you are able. It's important that you remember what it means to be a member-owner and that you take pride and ownership in your cooperative.
We are truly thankful for the help and donations that we have received to make it this far. Unlike most large stores we buy our products locally. We put thousands of dollars back into the community that we love and live in. We are on the edge of something great, but we need your help to achieve such a wonderful goal.
Please take the time to look at your schedule and our volunteer schedule to see if you can lend a hand. Also don’t forget to join us at the co-op for our first volunteer meeting on Thursday June 14 at 5:00pm. There will be refreshments served, a Q and A about volunteering and the co-op, a tour of the co-op and overview of what you may be doing as a volunteer. Not a member? That’s OK- you can still join us and take pride in helping your community as a volunteer. Bring a friend!