Member Owned Food Coops Are coming To Europe
A member-owned food coop is a supermarket where shoppers work on average 8 to 10 hours a quarter for free in exchange for 20 to 40% savings on groceries. Only members may shop at the store, and membership is open to all.
But, first and foremost, this unusual kind of grocery stores is committed to sell fresh, organic and local food at bargain prices.
The 1,000 sq m Park Slope Food Coop, located in the heart of the Park Slope section of Brooklyn is the iconic pioneer of food-coop in the US. Founded in New York in 1973 by a small group of committed neighbors who wanted to make healthy, affordable food available to everyone who wanted it. PSFC has more than 15,500 members and is so successful that it cannot accept more.
As a member of the Coop you share ownership of the Coop with the other Coop members. You have a voice in the decision-making process and can participate in planning and discussions of the organization’s future. Work, shop, learn, participate—be a part of a unique and rewarding community here in Brooklyn.
6 new Coop are likely to open in NYC in the months to come. It has taken a great deal of time before new stores of its kind open. It is true that these stores are not easy to operate. At least 1,000 members are needed for a good start.
France and Belgium will also experience in a few months Grocery Coop food stores, most of them funded through crowdfunding sites, that will be operate exactly the same as their successful New York based role model.
It is uncertain to predict if these stores will be successful or not. But, at least, we can argue that the western shopper’s behavior and mindset towards healthy and local food are advocating for Coops. And so is the powerful trend for citizens to be engaged in the local community.