Distinguishing Characteristics: Utilizing the Power of Produce to Stand Out from the Crowd

By James Morrell 190 May-June 2017 Keeping it fresh: a vibrant and fresh produce department is a key part of most natural food cooperatives, and a positive produce experience is the primary reason given by shoppers for their choice of a specific store or location. A healthy produce department offers a great foundation for overall store success and is an effective way for a store [...]

The Northeast Network: A Participatory Model

Amy Fields, General Manager Eastside Food Co-op, Minneapolis, MN   The Eastside Food Co-op have emerged as innovators in participation and engaging their owners.  Listen to Amy and get inspired as she explains the model and what it has done for NE Minneapolis.

Why Grow Co-ops: The Social + Economic Benefits

Doug Hoffer, State Auditor of Vermont   In terms that economists and policy-makers can appreciate, Doug Hoffer enumerates a handful (but certainly not all) of the benefits to local communities and economies of growing cooperative enterprises of all sorts.

Civic Involvement in Co-op Development

Madeline Rogero, Mayor City of Knoxville, TN Mayor Rogero tells an important story about the partnership between the Three Rivers Market Co-op and the City of Knoxville.  The results of that partnership have been fruitful for all involved including the members, the citizens, the co-op and the City.

Food co-ops: Where democracy, community & sustainability come together

There has been a resurgence in food co-ops the past several years. People have different reasons for pursuing quality, nutritious, locally sourced food. The recent unstable economy has driven some families to be more selective about what they eat and some share a collective interest in sustaining their own control over their neighborhood businesses. Local co-ops have been enjoying expansions: Weavers Way Co-op, founded [...]

Wheatsville – Austin iLab

Our series on innovative co-operative organizations in Austin had to cover what is probably the largest and longest-running co-op in central Texas. The Wheatsville Food Co-op began operations in 1976 and has been one of the outstanding features of Austin’s food community ever since. We met with Rose Marie Klee, President of the Board of Directors, to learn more about the history of Wheatsville [...]

Cooperatives are Good for Cities

Russ Wille, Community Development Director City of St. Peter, MN   Another successful tale of cities and co-ops cooperating to everyone's benefit.  Mr. Wille takes us through the types of aid that were made available to the St. Peter Food Co-op, as well as the benefits to the city as a result of the partnership.

When Local Government Cooperates

Clem Nilan, General Manager City Market Onion River Co-op   Ed Antczak, Economic Development Specialist City of Burlington Community & Economic Development Office   Look at what is possible when there's the political will to cooperate! The City of Burlington, VT, and the Onion River Co-op, in a brilliant display of cooperation on a civic level, have forged a partnership now 10 years strong.

Remarks from Kathleen Merrigan: The Opportunities of Cooperation

Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy-Secretary [bio] US Department of Agriculture   Washington, DC   Don't miss this brief talk on the opportunities that cooperatives have, especially right now, and the resources that the USDA has available to support cooperative growth and excellence.