santa fe community coop

ethical food


Do I Have to Work? What if . . .

IMG_0021Yes. Working is part of the way we all participate in the life of the cooperative. It’s something to embrace, a chance to connect with friends who share your shift, and a way to meet, greet and get to know  other members of the Coop. It’s fun! It is also an important way we keep food prices low.

When we launch, we will each work two 2 3/4 hour shifts every four weeks. As we grow, we will each have to work less.

There are three ways to fulfill your work requirement.

1. Work a regular shift, two shifts every month

2. Work a flex shift, four shifts every two months – work when you’re available and there are available work slots

3. Hire someone from our list to work your shift

We encourage you to work a regular shift if you’re able as it makes it a lot easier to stock shelves, receive inventory, cut cheese, bag spices, and checkout shoppers. You can always trade shifts or hire someone to work for you if you can’t make it. But remember, the Coop counts on you to work your shift. If you miss a shift, you’ll have to make up two!

There are also three ways to join:

1. Become a regular member

2. Join as a 12X Shop, that is work two shifts and shop 12 times = a great option if you live in Albuquerque, counties North or South of Santa Fe,, or Taos, or if you spend two or three months a year here

3. Join as a regular member with the option to take up to a 6 month leave each year – good for snowbirds and people with second homes

We welcome all! Everyone who wants to join will be able to join. We invite those with disabilities and those who are unable to pay the membership pledge or annual fee, along with those who have special circumstances, to please email or call us. We’ll work out a way for you to join.


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You Own It!

It’s a simple and quite wonderful concept, a cooperative.

urlYou own the coop based on your patronage, how much you shop. At the end of each year, 20% of the profits get returned to you based on dollars spent at the coop, your patronage. This refund is  called a Patronage Dividend or a Patronage Refund. The other 80% is allocated to each Member, also in proportion to your patronage.

Much of the allocated equity will be reinvested in the coop, either by further reducing the price of food or making capital improvements. The rest will be retained as a capital reserve.

As an incorporated Sub-Chapter T Cooperative, once the Coop distributes 20% of its profits, the Coop will not pay any state or federal taxes. Also, you will not need to pay state or local taxes on your refund.

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Santa Fe’s New Social, Economic and Environmental Cooperative Model

janes-portrait deborah-madison-cropped img_1314 don-emery




We want to get the word out about our new social, economic, and environmental cooperative model. Bridging the North and South sides of Santa Fe, our new cooperative provides high quality, affordable food to everyone. It brings food & health equity and new farming models together, growing more local food and creating more local jobs in Santa Fe, while preserving our most vulnerable resource, water.

The Coop offers one-stop-shopping for healthy, nutritious, mostly organic and non-GMO, local whenever possible, food; along with nutritional supplements, basic housewares, some hardware, beauty products, and select gourmet. It will be home to a rich and progressive culture where Santa Feans actively participate in improving their own lives and lives of others . . . where we, together, deliver on our commitment to live a life of meaning.

The Coop is family-oriented, with childcare and desks for homework, cooking and nutritional classes, and high quality prepared food for seniors and singles. Built on a solid ecological model, the backbone of the coop is an energy efficient system that optimizes thermal outputs, recycles grey water, deploys solar energy, and uses proven and emerging agricultural technologies in a model, economically and environmentally viable, grocery store replete with high-yield, water-efficient urban farming. Working with La Familia Medical Center, Youthbuild job corp and other community NGO’s we are marshaling our community’s economic and social resources to empower Santa Fe’s growth and health.

The Coop uses a proven business model, the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, which has been in business for 40 years . . . with whom we have strong and active strategic alliance. Located in a walking community of 73,595, the PSFC is one of the top five independent grocery stores in the country. It is highly efficient, with $6,500 annual sales per square foot compared to Whole Foods’ $777. It has 16,000 working members, and charges 21% mark-up compared with most natural grocers’ mark-up of 65% and more. The Coop saves shoppers 20%-40% on food, selling organic Yukon Golds for $.57 lb and organic leeks for $2.37. They take healthy food to a new level, stocking 85% organic compared to Whole Foods’ 26%. The Coop will launch with a 29% mark-up.

The Coop needs your help. We cannot do this without you. You are the foundation of the cooperative . . . its owners, its cheerleaders, its heart and soul. We encourage you to join and to let your friends know about the Coop so they can join. The Coop needs 400 Founding Members to secure our site and our financing; we will not spend your pledge or move forward until we have 400 Members. By joining now, you will save your first year’s $25 membership fee, and you will have the pleasure of knowing that you have helped make an outstanding contribution to our community, a contribution that delivers on Santa Fe’s promise of citizen engagement, cultural diversity, and ecological stewardship.

To join, click here. If you want to learn more, you will find lots of information on the Coop’s web site and Facebook page. We invite you to attend a community gathering where you can meet Members and newcomers. Our next meeting is Monday, September 23, 5:30 – 7:00, at La Farge Branch Library, 1730 Llano Street.

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New To Our Web Site

We just posted our recenbasket200tly completed BY-LAWS and BOARD MEETING MINUTES for the last two months. Check out PROGRESS-TO-DATE to find out what we’ve accomplished and what’s ahead.  We will keep you posted on our progress, so check for updates!

For Members, the Coop will be scheduling a General Meeting so everyone who wants to can get involved. Look for an email with information on date, time, and location.

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The Trusted, Integrated Community

imagesOne of my favorites! Repost from Seth Godin

n the long run, there are only two sustainable positions–you sell less for less or you sell more for more.

It’s tempting to think that you can pull a Wal-mart and appear to deliver more for less, but that’s far more rare than it appears. And the market is smart (and getting smarter) so delivering less for more, while apparently a great gig, doesn’t last.

People are going to figure out what’s on offer, and they’re going to seek out real value. For some, that means getting a little less (less service, less quality, less panache) and paying less, or getting a lot more (more meaning, more insight, more joy) and paying a bit more.

Time to pick.

[After I published it, I realized that something about this post isn’t quite right.] Here’s my take:

More or less are simple concepts to understand in the scarcity-based industrial economy. If I want to put better butter in the croissants, I need to pay more and charge more for it…

On the other hand, the connection economy isn’t based on scarcity. And in an abundant world of connection (where tribes become more valuable as they scale, where vulnerability and art are valuable in and of themselves) then in fact, yes, you can have more for less. The benefits of the trusted, integrated community, the one that gives permission and seeks to be in sync–these benefits actually open the door for delivering more… in exchange for the guts and the tears it takes to do that scary work that we seek to connect over.

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Updated FAQ featuring new incentives for 400 Founding Members and links to the Coop’s new, online subscription form with options to pay with Visa/MC, PayPal or check.

Q:      What is the Santa Fe Community Coop?

A:     A new grocery store that bridges the North and South sides, bringing high quality affordable food to everyone; a grocery store where your voice will be heard.

The Coop will offer one-stop-shopping for healthy, nutritious food; mostly organic and non-GMO, local whenever possible. 

It will be home to a rich and progressive culture where Santa Feans actively participate in improving their own lives and lives of others. 

Built on a solid ecological model, the backbone of the coop is an energy efficient system that optimizes thermal outputs, recycles grey water, deploys solar energy, and uses healthy, high-yield agricultural technologies.

Q:      There are a lot of grocery stores in Santa Fe. Why do you think we need another one?

A:     The Santa Fe Community Coop is as much about community as it is about food. The Coop will have a cozy eating area, a community room, culturally attuned nutritional programs, cooking classes, child-care and desks for homework, home-made stocks and sauces, and more.

Importantly, our food will be affordable, so everyone in the community can enjoy the benefits of high quality, nutritious food.

Q:      Why do you think the cooperative will be successful?

A:     We are following in the footsteps of the most successful food coop in the country, the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn. With $48 million in sales and 16,000 active members, it is one of the top five independent grocery stores in the country.

While most natural food stores charge a mark-up of 65% or more, the PSFC charges a mark-up of only 21%, saving shoppers 20% to 40% a year, between $2,400 to $4,800 a year for a family of four. At the outset, the Santa Fe Community Coop’s mark-up will be 29%.  The Coop hopes to reduce this over time.

Mostly organic, the PSFC stocks 85% organic compared to Whole Foods’ 26%

With the cost of food rising 4% to 7% a year, healthy, affordable food is rapidly disappearing from the commercial marketplace. The Santa Fe Community Coop fills this gap.

Q:      How is it different from La Montanita?

A:     Just as there is more than one grocery store in Santa Fe, there can be more than one cooperative. A second coop will expand local options for high quality, healthy, affordable food.

The Santa Fe Community Coop is a uniquely member-driven organization. Only members can shop; everyone is welcome to join. Members participate actively in the coop’s ownership, operations and governance. We have special membership options for those with low incomes or disabilities.

Q:      Why should I join?

A:     If you want to enjoy fresh, high quality food and vibrant community, we’re the grocery store for you. We welcome all, multi-generational New Mexicans and newcomers . . . singles, families and seniors.

Q:      What does it cost to join?

A:       Every Member will pay an annual $25 Membership Fee, make a one-time $100 Pledge, and be required to fulfill the Coop’s work requirement, currently two 2 3/4 shifts every four weeks. All adults over 21 in your household must be Members.

The Coop also has an out-of-town membership that allows folks who do not live in Santa Fe year-round to shop 12 times a year. It has the same Membership Fee and Pledge requirements; however, you will only be asked to work two shifts.

Q:     How do I join?

A:     Click here!

You can pay your $100 per Member pledge with Visa/MC or PayPal or you can send  a check. Pay the full amount or sign-up for monthly or quarterly installments.

If you are one of 400 Founding Members, the Coop will waive your first year’s $25 Membership Fee.

Q:     When will it open?

A:     Our projected opening is early 2015.

Q:      Why should I join now?

A:     Our business plan demonstrates that 400 members are needed to ensure the right location, get bank financing and complete our build-out.

The Coop is waiving the $25 Membership Fee for the first year for its 400 Founding Members.Y our name will be included on our special Founding Member wall, and you will  have the pleasure of knowing that helped make this outstanding contribution to our community possible.

No membership contributions will be spent until we have 400 members. If we do not have 400 members by December 31, 2013, all monies will be returned.

Q:      How do I get more information?

A:     If you have questions, email the Coop at The Coop also holds monthly Community Gatherings. Check for logistics by clicking COMMUNITY CALENDAR on our Home page.

Q:      How can I participate?

A:     Help the Coop recruit members. You can find out more about the Coop and its recruiting process at Volunteer Gatherings. Check for dates and locations, coming soon, by clicking COMMUNITY CALENDAR on our Home Page.

The Coop also invites you to join a work group. Or, if you have special skills that you want to volunteer, please let us know! The Design Team is currently  designing the Coop’s building, so let us know if you have skills you would like to contribute. The Coop always need graphic design, and we will soon need web programming and design skills. Marketing, financial and administrative skills are always welcome.   

If you like the Community Coop, please tell your friends about it! “Follow” at, “Like” Santa Fe Community Coop on Facebook.

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They Waxed Poetic

We had a terrific gathering at The Commons this Tuesday. The low light was that I delivered my Napa olive oil cake and berry shortcake which everyone ate with great gusto. The high light was everyone who showed up full of enthusiasm and positive energy about working cooperatives, the joy of working shoulder-to-shoulder with friends and the sense of community it creates. As Don Heimbecker, our General Contractor so wisely opined, “food IS community”.

I only joined the Park Slope Food Coop after a number of years. I was busy with a demanding job and two children. Once I joined, I was a member for twenty years. Of course, the PSFC wasn’t just any cooperative, it was a trail blazer. It had amazing produce, pasture raised meat even twenty years ago, and the feel of community. I loved cashiering. I met mothers my children went to school with, lovely and talented young people from the community, some artists from the lofts in Red Hook, and we shared our stories and our lives as we greeted coop members who were paying for their groceries. Each of us tried to be more efficient than the next, get the most receipts in our cash drawers, and reconcile cash to sales to the penny. I shopped after I completed my shift, enjoying the fresh smell of the coop’s produce and grains, chuckling as I negotiated the coop’s usually long check-out lines, using my time to peruse the nutritional supplements while I chatted with fellow coop members, gathering recipes, learning more about the benefits of organic and the nutritional value of foods with which I was unfamiliar.

How many of you belonged to coops in the past? What were they like? How did you feel about belonging?