Ownership FAQs

What does ownership of the Co-op mean?

Ownership means you’re entitled to an equitable vote in a democratically-run business. The Mustard Seed works to achieve the objectives of its owners, including sourcing local and wholesome foods for owner households and our broader community.

What are the benefits of ownership?

While anyone can shop at the Co-op, only owners will receive:

  • 2% owner savings on all items (given in the form of co-op credits, stored on your account to be used whenever you’d like)
  • Additional weekly sales items for owners only
  • Access to owner bulk ordering privileges and discounts
  • Discounts at co-op workshops & events
  • Voting rights in Board of Director elections (one vote per owner-household)
  • Opportunity to be involved in the leadership and structure of your store

What are an owners’ responsibilities?

  • Stay informed about  the business by reading regular Co-op emails
  • Participate through voting, completing surveys, and providing informal feedback on Co-op issues
  • Purchase a $100 ownership, providing capital for Co-op operations

Who can join The Mustard Seed?

Ownership is open to any person over 16 years of age, as well as incorporated entities.

How much does it cost?

A household ownership fee is a one-time cost of $100. A typical household would recoup their ownership fee in less than two years with owner-only savings.

Does an ownership need to be renewed every year?

No, your ownership doesn’t need to be renewed. Your one-time $100 ownership fee grants you equal participation in the co-op enterprise.

How do I sign up to become an owner?

Come visit us at the store (460 York Blvd.) to fill out an ownership form and pay your $100 fee. You will then get your very own ownership card and passport. You can also download an ownership form, fill it out ahead of time, and bring it with you to the Co-op if you’d like.

How do you define a “household” for ownership purposes?

A household is anyone sharing a dwelling. If you live alone, you are a household. If you live with your family, or partner, or you share a home with a group of friends, you are a household according to the Co-op. Our ownership forms and cards record primary and secondary contacts for ownership.

Two or more people in a household may jointly hold a ownership, but they count as one person for voting purposes. Individuals within a household may purchase separate ownerships.

Are there discounts for households with lower incomes?

We would like to offer ownership instalment payments in the future. However, for the Co-op’s first year, we require that owners pay the fee in full to capitalize the business.

What should I do if my contact info changes?

You can email us with your new contact info.

Do I get an ownership card?

Yes, owners will get a permanent swipe card that you will get during your first visit to the Co-op after joining.

Can I transfer my ownership to someone else?

Ownership is non-transferable.

Am I able to withdraw my ownership if I move or change my mind?

With written notice, your ownership can be voluntarily terminated. Please bring your owner card and written notice of your request to the store at 460 York Blvd. Ownership fees are one-time and non-refundable. Upon termination of ownership, all rights and interests in The Mustard Seed Co-operative Grocery shall cease.

Will I be able to volunteer at The Mustard Seed?

There are lots opportunities to volunteer – read more here.

Is the Co-op too good to be true?

It’s true!  You can effect change in our food system, own your own grocery store, and build your community all at once.

Additional Details

The liability of an owner is limited in accordance with the Co-operative Corporations Act in Ontario.

Still have questions? Email us.