FAQs

What is a co-operative grocery store?
It is a business that is owned and controlled by the members who use its services. We will be a neighborhood grocery store, open to our member-owners and the public, where local, high-quality foods and products will be available for a fair price.

What does membership mean?
By becoming a member-owner, you will quite literally be an owner of the store and will have a voice in which items and services the co-op will offer. Our membership investment is $200. This is not a fee, or a donation; it’s a one-time investment in the store. Member-owner applications are available here and will be at select community events.

Is there a work requirement?
Every member-owner household (no matter the size) will be required to complete 8 volunteer hours during the calendar year.  The people in the household can determine how to divide this time among themselves.

What are the benefits of becoming a member-owner?
Right now, you are entitled to:

  • The opportunity to run and vote for the Board of Directors
  • Ability to vote at general membership meetings and petition for policy changes
  • Educational classes and workshops
  • Discounts at participating local businesses

When the store opens you will also be entitled to:

  • Member-only specials and sales
  • A say in the variety of products offered

Can I become a member-owner now?
Yes! Fill out an application (available on our website) and bring it, along with your payment, to one of our meetings or community events.  You can also mail both to: South Philly Food Co-op, P.O. Box 31506, Philadelphia, PA 19147.  Checks should be made out to “South Philly Food Co-op.”

As soon as you make an initial equity payment you will be eligible for member-owner benefits. We also accept payments via PayPal.

Where will the co-op be located?
A Real Estate Committee will be formed to determine our location.  Some factors to consider are:

  • Where our member-owners are located
  • The real estate market
  • What our market analysis tell us about potential locations
  • What location will have the right combination of accessibility by walking, public transport and car? (i.e. available parking)

Our member-owners will have a say in where the co-op is located, so please join and spread the word to your neighbors

How would the South Philly Food Co-op benefit our community?
A food co-op will make healthy, high-quality food and products available at a fair price while also being invested in our community. Co-ops also provide jobs, economic activity, and tend to attract and promote like-minded businesses and activities. We believe in cultivating community by supporting the local economy.

Will I be able to shop if I am not a member-owner?
The South Philly Food Co-op will be open to the public, but only member-owners will receive perks such as special discounts and the ability to vote and be counted in general elections. Additionally, without community support in the form of membership, the co-op is less likely to become a reality.

When will the South Philly Food Co-op open?
Just like any start-up business, there are a number of factors that need to align before we open our doors.  Our goal is 2013.

We need your support!  How can you help?
Besides becoming a member-owner, please let us know how you’d like to be involved and if you have a particular strength or interest that you want to volunteer.  There are a number of ways you can get involved right now by volunteering, joining a team such as business outreach, or joining one of our committees. The South Philly Food Co-op is a dynamic, ever growing project and additional needs will develop as the initiative moves forward.   For more information, please visit the volunteer page on our website and fill our Volunteer Interests Survey.

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