Fredericksburg Food Co-op
An exciting new initiative was launched last September when a group of local Fredericksburg-area residents came together to create a food cooperative. The Fredericksburg Food Cooperative will a full service member-owned grocery store that will be opening a store in Fredericksburg once its membership ranks grow sufficiently.
A food co-op is a special kind of business that is owned and controlled by its member-owners. Food co-ops sell food and related items to members and non-members, but rather than seeking to maximize profits, co-op make decisions to maximize service to their member-owners and the community.
This new co-op will have a special focus on locally grown and locally sourced products. And it will feature a great selection of organic and natural foods and household products. The co-op focus on local products is a key difference between co-ops and conventional grocery stores. Co-ops work hard to link local producers with local consumers. 20% or more of the products sold by the typical food co-op are locally produced, compared with only 6% for conventional grocery stores.
As a member-owned cooperative, the vision of the Fredericksburg Food Cooperative centers around:
(1) Products: Bringing healthy local products to consumers;
(2) Environment: Implementing the most environmentally sustainable practices in all aspects of operations and working with others toward positive environmental goals; and
(3) Community: Being more than just another place to shop, but providing a gathering place for people and ideas to benefit our community and collaborating with others to place a special focus on sharing best practices on nutrition and wellness for our children and the families in our area.
The Fredericksburg Food Cooperative is beginning to generate support and positive press in the local area. A University of Mary Washington survey reported that strong support exists and that many residents will be willing to make the one-time $200 investment per household to become co-op members. Member-owners become part of a community effort – joining together to improve access to healthy foods while enhancing the quality of life in the Fredericksburg area. Members also receive discounts and have a vote in the governance of the co-op.
To learn more about this new food cooperative and to sign up as a new member, please go to www.fredericksburgfoodcoop.com. Please consider becoming a member today!