The Big Deal about Co-ops

Did you know that October is Co-op Month? It's a time to celebrate all kinds of cooperatively owned businesses, from producer-owned co-ops where the makers of the goods or providers of the services own the business to consumer-owned co-ops like the one we're trying to start in South Philly. By now you've heard plenty about why some of the folks who are working so hard to start the South Philly Food Co-op want to make this happen and in the coming months we hope to bring you some stories from people have become one of over a 100 members so far. For a great perspective on why co-ops are important, check out this link that one of our board members, Stephanie Rupertus, shared yesterday. It comes from Alison Grey, the marketing coordinator for the Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, Montana (which seems like it must be an AWESOME place to live). Here's my favorite part:
The more I shopped here, the more I realized how different the cooperative business model really was. I had always figured it operated the same way as any other business: with one all knowing and dictating owner, some dutiful employees and unquestioning customers. It could not have been any different. I learned our co-op is equally owned and operated by all of its members, an economic democracy of sorts. I was literally voting with my fork, or spoon for that matter. And eating was fun, so I could rejoice in this cause. Since my days of operating lemonade stands and posting huge profit margins on my products (hey, I didn’t care about ripping off my customers), I had never considered business ownership as part of my future plans. Now, as a part-owner, I had an equal say in the co-op’s operations and future, and that felt good. No one was forcing me to participate, but when I had a problem or suggestion, someone here might actually listen to me. I had a choice about what I was purchasing and as a consumer, this was empowering.
Oh... and lucky for them... they get to sell wine in their co-op. (Maybe some day, Pennsylvania!) Looking forward to seeing all of our member-owners tomorrow night TONIGHT, TONIGHT, TONIGHT at the Fall General Membership meeting. The meeting is open to member-owners and non-member-owners alike so if you're thinking about joining or just want to see what we're up to come on along. Member-owners will be exercising their rights to vote on by-laws and anyone can become a member-owner on the spot and participate. Time and Location Details: Monday, October 17th, 6:30 – 8:00pm The Church of the Trinity 2300 S. 18th Street (on 18th Street between Wolf and Ritner).