What the Heck is a Co-op?
A co-op is a business that is owned by and for the benefit of its members. Although people are most familiar with natural food, farm and electrical cooperatives, the cooperative business model can be applied to almost any kind of business. Co-ops worldwide (including Whole Foods Co-op) employ the Cooperative Principles, which were based on the original principles of the first modern cooperative in Rochdale, England in 1884.
1 – Voluntary & Open Membership: Everyone is welcome!
2 – Democratic Member Control: No matter how much equity an Owner contributes, each Owner has only one vote, and therefore, equal say.
3 – Member Economic Participation: You have to use your Co-op to get the benefits. Buy more, save more!
4 – Autonomy & Independence: We may collaborate and cooperate with others, but we set our own policies.
5 – Education, Training & Information: We love to help. Let us!
6 – Cooperation Among Cooperatives: “Many hands make light work.” – Grandma Irene
7 – Concern For Community: Although a co-op needs to be profitable to remain in business, a co-op also exists to serve the community, not solely to make a profit for its shareholders.