What is a co+op?

A cooperative business is democratically owned and operated — meaning that our members are our owners! Unlike a corporation, a cooperative's primary goal is not just turning a profit. We have a "triple bottom line":

The seven Co-operative Principles

Way back in 1895, the National Co-operative Alliance was formed to unify co-ops across the world and advance the co-op model. In 1995, the Alliance adopted the revised Statement on the Co-operative Identity which contains the definition of a co-op, the co-op values and the seven co-operative principles outlined below:

Principle #1:

Voluntary and Open Membership Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

Principle #2:

Democratic Member Control Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

Principle #3:

Member's Economic Participation Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.

Principle #4:

Autonomy and Independence Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.  

Principle #5:

Education, Training, and Information Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.

Principle #6:

Cooperation Among Cooperatives Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

Principle #7:

Concern for Community While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

Co-operative values

All co-operatives are based on the following values: self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of the founders of the National Co-operative Alliance, we believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Our Member-Owners all have an equal say in how the business is run. Member-Owners can attend open Board of Directors meetings, vote for new Board members, and run for the Board!

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In addition to being an owner of a local business and reinvesting into our local economy, Co+op Owners also receive special sales and discounts! Owners get 5% off of more than 150 local products everyday, exclusive Owner Sales every month, twice monthly Owner Appreciation Days wherein Owners receive 5% off their total purchase and 10% off special orders, free or reduced fees for classes in the Community Room and more!  

Interested in being an owner of a local business?

Click here to join the Co+op!