Q: What is the Richmond Food Co-op?
A: The Richmond Food Co-op will be a full-service grocery store, with a priority on affordable local, organic, and sustainable food. As a cooperative, it will be member-owned, but it will also be open for shopping to the public. Co-ops operate democratically, so as member/owners are able to vote for the board and have regular opportunities to provide input and feedback.
Q: When will it open?
A: The goal for opening is Fall 2017. our member loan campaign (spring 2017), build out (spring/summer 2017) and hiring a general manager (summer 2017).
Q: Where will it be?
A: The Co-op has found a site in the Southside of Richmond at 1200 Westover Hills Boulevard.
Q: What kinds of things will the Co-op carry?
A: The Co-op will offer produce and products that are as local, as seasonal, and as organic as possible. We will be a full-service grocery store, carrying a range of fresh food, dry goods, beverages and household products. As a one-stop shop, it will serve all of your food and household needs throughout the year.
Q: Will there be member/owner discounts?
A: The Co-op will run member specials and promotions. Most importantly member/owners will share in the profits!
Q: Are members required to work?
A: This is not a working member model so the only requirement for membership is an equity payment. The store will be professionally staffed but there are ample opportunities to volunteer (especially during our start-up phase!).
Q: Can anyone shop at the Co-op?
A: Yes, the Co-op will be open to the public for shopping. Member/Owners will receive discounted prices and will share in the profits, but anyone is welcome to shop.
Q: Is a food co-op a new idea?
A: Cooperatives have a rich history, both nationally and internationally. We can find food co-ops in cities bigger and smaller than Richmond, such as Harrisonburg, VA, and New York, NY. They are all over the United States, and we can certainly have one here.
Q: What are the benefits of becoming a member?
A: Membership equals ownership. As a member, you have a voice in how the Co-op operates, and participate in a truly community-centric enterprise. You also receive a discount on your purchases, and the profits at the end of the year return to the member/owners. By joining the Co-op you put economic democracy in action.
Q: Why should I join now instead of waiting until the store is open for shopping?
A: By becoming a pioneering member/owner and joining today, you enable us to open sooner. Co-op ownership means putting your dollars where your values are: the cooperative system, healthy communities and supporting local farms and businesses. Co-ops – and their money – are owned and controlled by their member/owners, therefore members provide the basic capital to start the Co-op. Putting off joining the Co-op means that it takes longer for us to open our doors. It starts with you!
Q: How much does it cost to join?
A: Member equity is $125 per adult in a household, and there is $25 joining fee (per household). Each member is an equal owner in the business.
Q: What if I can’t afford the cost of membership?
A: Qualifying members are eligible for income-based reduced pricing: $5 joining fee + $10 member equity. (Must provide proof of one of the following: SNAP/EBT, WIC, SSI, Medicaid, Family Health Plus, Section 8 Housing, Advantage Program).
We also offer two installment plan options for those who don’t qualify for the reduced pricing but are unable to pay the full amount at once. Members may choose to split up the payment into 2 payments (3 months apart), or 4 monthly payments.
We have also recently added a College Membership option. Students may make $25 annual installments over the course of 6 years.
Q: I am ready to sign up! What do I have to do?
A: Visit our Join Now! page. You can register and pay online or download a membership brochure which you can mail along with a check to Richmond Food Co-op, P.O. Box 7304, Richmond, VA 23221.
If you have questions or would like to be on our mailing list we can be reached at info@Richmondfoodcoop.com.