About Co-ops

YpsiCoop09

When you walk through the doors of a food co-op, you experience the hospitality of members and staff, the smells of fresh and wholesome foods, and a sense of community that you just don’t get from conventional grocery stores.

About co-ops:

  • A cooperative is an enterprise that is owned and democratically controlled by its members.

  • Cooperatives use the one member/one vote system (not the one-vote-per-share system used by most businesses). This ensures that people, not capital, control the organization.

  • Co-ops empower individuals and encourage healthier and stronger communities by enabling people to pool their resources and share risks.

  • Co-ops are the fastest growing socio-economic movement in the world. They exist in virtually every sector of the economy including agriculture, financial services, and housing.

  • There are approximately 10 000 cooperatives and credit unions in Canada alone providing products and services to 18 million members!

  • While each co-op is unique, they are all membership-based, driven by social as well as economic concerns, and guided by 7 principles, including equality and solidarity.

Cooperative grocers play an important role in communities across the country as purveyors of local, organic and sustainable foods.

  • Food co-ops spend 3x more on locally-sourced products, give 3x more to charity, sell far more organics, and pay significantly better local wages & benefits.

  • On average, they support over 150 local farms and other producers. For every dollar spent at a food co-op, 1.6x more money is generated in the local economy!

Yet our experience of food co-ops is that they are still affordable and beautiful places to shop – because member benefits come before shareholder profits.

Check out some other co-operatively-owned retail grocery stores in Ontario:

Big Carrot (Toronto)

Karma Co-op (Toronto)

West End Food Co-op (Toronto)

Your Local Market (Stratford)

London Food Co-op (London)

Collingwood Community Food Co-op (Collingwood)

Karma Project (Penetanguishene)

Eat Local Sudbury

Sandy Hill Food Co-op (Ottawa)

Dandelion Foods (Almonte)

The True North Community Co-operative (Thunder Bay)

All of these co-ops benefit from the experience of established co-ops and the knowledge shared through the Local Organic Food Co-op network in Ontario.