How to Start a Food Co-op

Food Co-op Initiative has updated the Food Co-op Startup Guide manual and the new version is available with other resources at their website (and attached here). We recommend that startup teams contact Food Co-op Initiative to take the first steps with their projects. 


Solar Power Plans at The Merc

The Lawrence, Kansas food co-op in mid-May announced its plans for summer 2017 construction of a major solar power installation—what will be the largest one in town. Some 29 percent of the The Merc’s electricity will be supplied by 688 rooftop, parking lot, and patio photovoltaic panels. The new project will supplement major energy-conserving improvements made over the past five years since The Merc purchased its facility.

Amazing Grains Closes

The board of directors of Amazing Grains, a small co-op in Grand Forks, North Dakota, announced the co-op’s imminent dissolution—the notification came just before the co-op’s annual meeting on April 30 2017. Amazing Grains served the Grand Forks community for 44 years. The co-op was among the first Grand Forks businesses to return to downtown after the huge 1997 flood—helped by food co-ops nationally launching a Co-op Disaster Relief Fund.

CCMA 2017 Co-op Tours Announced

We are very pleased to announce the CCMA 2017 co-op tours! Our Host Committee has put together some phenomenal tours guaranteed to inspire, educate, and delight. CCMA attendees will have the opportunity to stroll down the aisles and shop at Seward, Eastside, The Wedge, Lakewinds, Mississippi Market and Valley Natural Foods! Tours will also visit local vendors and farmers providing organic products to area co-ops such as Peace Coffee and Open Hands Organic Farm. Participants will learn about community organizations affecting change in the Minneapolis area.

Persistence Pays Off for New Co-op

SPOKANE — The atmosphere is busy but light on a recent March morning at the new LINC Foods warehouse in north Spokane.

Delivery truck driver Kyle Merritt gathers produce for an order inside the walk-in cooler.

Founder Beth Robinette puts beef cuts from her family ranch in gift boxes for customers.

Medical Lake, Wash., farmer Dan Sproule chats with Robinette and Merritt as he drops off beets and pea shoots, among other items.

Understanding the Meaning of "Speaking With One Voice”

Boards of directors regularly struggle with the concept of “speaking with one voice”— primarily because the concept has a dual meaning. Within the context of Policy Governance, which many food co-op boards use, the principle of board holism is sometimes described as “speaking with one voice.” However, the same term is also used to describe or prescribe how a board should express itself publicly. This article will explore the dual meanings of this concept and aims to help boards make their own best decisions about what they want their “one voice” to sound like.