Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a Co-op?

A food co-op often refers to a grocery store that is collectively started, owned and governed by its members. Co-ops open to fill a particular need in the community, such as a need for easily accessible natural or organic foods.

The co-op does not have one owner, but multiple members. Rather than having one investor, each member contributes a small fee and then becomes a stock holder or an owner in the company. Multiple people contribute to get the initiative up and running, and then contributors own a portion of the co-op and have a democratic vote on how the co-op runs.

Co-ops are for profit commercial enterprises. We are not a non-profit.


How is a Co-op different from a Publicly Traded Company?

In a stock corporation each share of stock receives a vote for the board: the more shares an individual owns, the more votes they have. In a co-op, each membership receives only one vote, no matter how many shares are owned. Each member has an equal voice in Board elections and provides a stronger voice in the type of store created. The store is an extension of the community. It is directed, controlled and governed by the members.


CAN THE GENERAL PUBLIC Shop at Grassroots?

Yes! The store is open to everyone. But keep in mind that members get special benefits!


HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?

A one-time fee of $200 per individual or household is collected. There are no annual maintenance fees or any other costs associated with membership. You can also choose to pay in monthly installments, beginning with $50/month for the first month, then $30/month for the next five. 

The $200 contribution is the only liability of the member. Members are not responsible for any of the debts or other obligations of the co-op. There is no work requirement for membership.  You will not be asked to work in the store.


Are memberships refundable or transferable?

Memberships are refundable, but the timing of those refunds are at the discretion of the Board. Because membership is ownership in the co-op, and a vital part of managing the grocery store's cash flow, refund requests are considered periodically (such as at the end of each fiscal year). 

There are special rules around transferring your stock (e.g. membership) to another person. Please refer to the offering document for more information.


How can I support Grassroots?

JOIN: We need your membership. Not a member yet? Join here.

PROMOTE: Not only do we need your personal support, but that of your friends, families and neighbors as well.  Please tell them about this initiative and direct them to our website, grassrootslocalmarket.com. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. Sign up for email updates.

PARTICIPATE: If you would like to help we have several committees in need of volunteers. Email us to get involved.