Great Co-ops Growing Well!
July has been an exciting month for food cooperatives around the country. Co-op owners have created more stores, new services, and expanded food offerings in their communities. As we in Chico prepare for the major project of moving and growing our own Cooperative, we want to show off the amazing things being done by our sister-stores around the nation.
Eastside Co-op of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conceived in 1996 in the vibrant center of America’s cooperative movement, Eastside has been operating a brick-and-mortar storefront since 2003. The community’s fantastic reaction to the cooperative experience required Eastside to begin planning an expansion after just a few short years of being open for business. From 2010-2016, they raised over $6 million to create a bigger, better Co-op for the eastside of Minneapolis! Their expanded location, which opened last week, added a community meeting space, a beverage bar, and a much larger sales floor. The Co-op also added 20 permanent new jobs in their newly grown building. Eastside is an inspiring model of how a small Co-op can grow smartly in order to serve new communities while still holding fast to the ideals of its founding owners.
PCC Natural Market of Seattle, Washington
PCC is the largest consumer-owned grocery cooperative in the United States. What started as a small buying club in 1953 has grown to include a network of 11 stores over the greater Seattle area. PCC’s most recent addition, in the Bothell section of Seattle, is a fantastic example of how the cooperative emphasis on sustainability results in a superior facility. The Bothell location employs cutting-edge heating, cooling, and lighting systems to ensure that the store has the lowest possible carbon footprint. PCC has also purchased WISErg harvester which turns food scraps into high-quality organic fertilizer, to be sold in-store. PCC’s bold vision, commitment to the environment, and engaged ownership have grown it into one of the leading lights in the national Cooperative movement.
Chico Natural Foods Co-op isn’t as big as PCC or as new as Eastside. Every Co-op, like every community, is different. However, we are all excited and inspired by the bold moves and great ideas which are appearing all over the cooperative landscape, and we want to hear from YOU. Please share your ideas and inspiration for the Co-op’s future. Send us letters, write comment cards in-store, send us messages on Facebook or through e-mail. Our owners are the Co-op, and we want to make your vision a reality.