Our Mission

Amherst Food Co-op will be a full-service, community and worker-owned grocery store located close to downtown Amherst, carrying a combination of organic and conventional, fairly-sourced foods with an emphasis on affordable, local products. Our store will be grounded in the community, created by the community, and will serve the needs of the community. Amherst Food Co-op’s mission is to bring people together in community to nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits through our shared values of worker empowerment, support of local producers, support of sustainable business practices, building community resilience, education, democratic participation, and cooperation.

Our Progress

Amherst Food Co-op incorporated as a Massachusetts Cooperative and launched our first membership drive in April of 2014. As our membership continues to increase, we are simultaneously increasing our community outreach efforts through our volunteer Outreach Committee. It is important that our project be representative of our entire community as we continue our start-up efforts, therefore, ongoing needs assessment and outreach are essential.

We are currently in the feasibility stage of our start-up co-op. We've just completed a market study through CDS Consulting Co-op based on our proposed vision for our store. CDS is the same organization used by River Valley Co-op, Franklin Community Co-op, Brattleboro Food Co-op, and dozens of other co-ops around the country, so we feel confident in their conclusions and recommendations. We are looking forward to sharing the results of that study with the community in the upcoming weeks.

We are also looking for motivated, passionate individuals to become a part of our organizing efforts! Our Board meets twice a month, and we would love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming more involved in this exciting project.

Learn more about our progress by viewing our project timeline.

Our Co-op's Principles

  • Our food will be healthy and reflective of the diversity of our community. Products will be locally sourced whenever possible.
  • Our food will be accessible by foot, bus, bicycle or car, and will be available to members and non-members alike.
  • Our store will be owned by members of the community AND the workers at the Co-op, empowering workers through strong representation on the Board of Directors.
  • We will support the needs of our local and global community by engaging with issues of social, economic, and environmental justice
  • We will be a resource for community development through educational workshops and other community-focused events.

What is a Hybrid Worker-Consumer Co-op?

A worker-consumer hybrid co-op is one example of a multi-stakeholder co-op. In this model, workers at the co-op and consumer patrons of the co-op share ownership of the enterprise. For Amherst Food Co-op, this will mean that worker-members and consumer-members will share representation on the Board of Directors, which ensures that the cooperative is keeping in line with its mission statement and guiding principles. All members of the Amherst Food Co-op will have the power to elect workers and consumers to the Board of Directors.

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Amherst Food Co-op
A start-up worker- and consumer-owned food co-op in Amherst, MA