Maple City Market Goshen, IN Year founded: 1976 Membership investment: $100 Number of members: 3,000 Number of employees: 25 Recently, Goshen, Indiana was named “Community of the Year” by the state’s Chamber of Commerce. For many years, this northern Indiana town on the border of Michigan held many undiscovered charms. No longer. It’s an increasingly diverse town recognized for its civic pride, hosting many [...]
The Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op (TPSS) in Takoma Park, Maryland is a cooperative that is known for its diversity and inclusion among staff and customers. Currently, 48 employees from 20 countries work at the food co-op. Creating an atmosphere of welcome and exchange is something that they continually work on.
Ashland Food Co-op in Ashland, OR is a successful food co-op in an artsy university town that also draws a lot of year-round tourists. The co-op is especially known for its outreach and popularity in the community. Recently, they faced a dilemma about this very thing. What should the co-op do when their dynamic and long-term marketing director retired? What could the co-op do to build on that success in a rapidly changing market?
When Anne Carter came to Medford Food Co-op in Medford, Oregon, the startup co-op had been open for two years and was still establishing its operations and governance. Their internal situation was mirrored in the community-at-large. Medford was once a logging town, and the current 225,000 inhabitants were transitioning their economy to tourism and business services. That new dynamic, and a focus on health and sustainability, also led to the creation of the food co-op.
For a long time, the Moscow Food Co-op had dreamed of “telling beautiful stories” about the co-op. They made the investment in 2015 to launch a co-op magazine called Rooted. Since then, their dreams have come true, and then some. The publication is full of attractive photography and great stories about the co-op, local producers, and the natural beauty of the area. Putting resources into it has really paid off—in good community PR and increased sales.
When the only grocery store in Ambler, Pennsylvania closed, it galvanized the town of 6,500 people into action. Rather than recreate the former grocery store’s approach to conventional retailing, though, they explored launching a food co-op that would focus on a variety of products, including natural and organic.
The town of Astoria, Oregon has a strong independent streak. While other nearby areas are overrun with chain stores, their town has not sustained that level of attention or development. That doesn’t mean the 10,000 people who live there don’t want nice amenities, efficiency and convenience. The difference is that they are willing to create those opportunities for development from within their own community.
Flatbush Food Co-op Brooklyn, New York Year founded: 1976 Number of members: 3,500 Member investment: $200 Number of employees: 70 Retail square footage: 8,000 The Flatbush Food Co-op has been in business as a trusted institution in Brooklyn since the 1970s, yet given the increasing competition, and with expansion a possibility, the co-op’s leadership believed there was more they could do to enhance how [...]
Durham Co-op Market Durham, NC Year founded: 2015 Number of members: 4,000 Member investment: $100 Number of employees: 50 Retail square feet: 8,000 The startup vision for Durham Co-op Market in Durham, NC was to be a very inclusive organization, one that would be an integral part of the community in which it was located. It was important to the founding members that all [...]
Friendly City Food Co-op Harrisonburg, VA Year founded: 2011 Membership investment: $200 Number of members: 1,800 Number of employees: 34 Retail square feet: 5,600 When Friendly City Food Co-op in Harrisonburg, Va. opened as a startup in 2011, they quickly gained a positive reputation in the community for providing great customer service. As Mary Beth Kannen, the co-op’s front-end team leader said, “The name [...]