UNDER CONSTRUCTION! We're currently working on adding more resources to this 101. In the meantime, the manual below is a stellar place to dig into starting a food co-op. Got a resource we should add—or want to share your own co-op-launching experience? Post a comment below and let us know. We'll be in touch!
WHAT IS A FOOD CO-OP?
A food co-op is a cooperatively owned grocery store. Food co-ops can be set up as retail stores or as buying clubs, and membership can be public or private. Many food co-ops provide food from local family farms. No matter how the co-op is established, most food co-ops share the common values of group management, social responsibility, and product quality. Read more about co-ops on Local Harvest and find a food co-op near you.
HOW DO I START A FOOD CO-OP?
Cooperative Grocers' Information Network has assembled a great online resource for establishing community food co-ops. Download the original "How to Start a Food Co-op" manual for valuable insights and information on launching a food co-op in your community.
Seriously, y'all, if you've got experience to share, spill it! We're looking for a few good men and women to help put together some thorough, thoughtful first-person tips on starting a food co-op. In the meantime, you can browse resources in HOMEGROWN's Find Good Food page. And you can always find more things to make, craft, cook, preserve, plant, grow, and join in the HOMEGROWN 101 library.
PHOTO: UMSU/UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE STUDENT UNION, COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS ON FLICKR