What is the Community Coop?
The cooperative will provide a community resource to address the well-established need for low-cost, healthy food for Santa Fe’s ethnically and economically diverse community of multi-generation New Mexicans, newcomers . . . seniors, families and singles. It will be a member-operated, full-service grocery store that will significantly reduce the cost of food in our community.
How is it Different?
The Community Coop is a consumer cooperative offering healthy, affordable food. It is significantly different from La Montanita, the Farmers’ Market, and CSA’s in cost of food and breadth of product.
The coop will be a 12,000 square foot store that stocks and sells all categories of food. The Coop will carry health supplements, flowers, and beauty products, and will have a commercial kitchen.
Because all members actively participate in running the cooperative during regularly scheduled work shifts, there are significantly less staffing expenses for receiving, inventory management, packaging, shelf stocking, checkout, and cleaning. The money saved on staffing reduces the price of food.
Consistent with our commitment to ecological stewardship, there are also significant efficiencies in energy use, packaging, inventory management, and transportation.
The cooperative will be financially self-sustaining.
Meeting Community Needs
- Low-cost, nutritious food including healthy prepared foods
- Accessible, culturally attuned programs that support a healthy diet
- Friendly, efficient operations that reduce the cost of food
- A gathering place where people connect around shared values
- Expanded distribution for local food purveyors
- Collaboration with community gardens, local farmers,
and other non-profit food & health organizations
As the cooperative evolves, it will provide:
- Increasingly ecological operations through solar and localization
- Delivery, potentially satellite facilities, for seniors, rural
populations, and those without transportation
- A 501(c)3 foundation supporting regional food and health equity
Rewards and Responsibilities of Membership
Only members can shop at the cooperative. Members can anticipate that as the cooperative grows and expands, food will become increasingly affordable. The Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, operating for forty years using this model, saves members 20% to 40% on groceries, $200 to $400 a month for a family of four, as much as $4,800 a year.
Members pay a membership fee; make a small, refundable loan to the coop to help with capital costs; and actively participate in the running of the cooperative through required work shifts. Fees can be paid over time, with members applying their savings from reduced food costs to monies owed. Meetings are open to all members.
We will waive loans and fees in lieu of extra work shifts for those who fall within our low income criteria. Exceptions to the work requirement will be made for people with disabilities.