By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy
Cooperatively-owned grocery stores are located across the country. While some consist of thousands of members and have been in existence since the 1970s, others have opened within the last few years. The Fredericksburg Food Co-op, a full-service, member-owned grocery store, will open a 9,400-square-foot retail space at 320 Jefferson Davis Highway in Fredericksburg this year.
The food co-op is a type of business owned and controlled by its member-owners, selling food and related items to members and non-members. Instead of maximizing profits, co-ops make decisions to maximize service to the member-owners and the community.
The goal is to implement environmentally sustainable practice in every aspect of the operation and join others in working for positive environmental goals for the community.
The Fredericksburg Food Co-op’s vision includes:
- To focus on locally-grown foods and offer natural and organic selections.
- To implement sustainable practices and source from local producers whenever possible.
- To become a gathering place for people and their ideas and to collaborate with community-based organizations.
- To become financially strong by earning the support of member-owners and the community.
Chris Roland, who has 15 years of experience with food co-ops, has been selected as the first general manager of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op. Roland’s background includes serving as the general manager of two successful food co-ops.
“More than four years ago, a small group of dedicated volunteers began the process of building support for the opening of an awesome community-owned grocery co-op here in Fredericksburg,” says Board Chair of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op Jonathan Stevens. “We are thrilled to welcome Chris Roland to complete the job started by those volunteers.”
Become a member-owner with a one-time investment of $200, which will provide the base capital and cover start-up costs. The success of the Fredericksburg Food Co-op depends on the support of member-owners and the community.
For information about becoming a member-owner, donating, shopping for co-op apparel and more, visit https://fredericksburgfoodcoop.com.