Member-Ownership

Join the Amherst Food Co-op as a founding member-owner today!

Why become a member-owner? Because we can't open our doors without you! Co-ops rely significantly on their founding member-owners for start-up capital in the form of member loans, which are paid back over time, with interest. We also accept tax-deductible donations. The sooner members join, the sooner we can bring this much-needed food co-op to our town.

A food co-op for Amherst means so many things- increased access to healthy food, the opportunity for workers to have direct ownership over the work they do in a democratic workplace, the growth of the cooperative economy (locally and globally), more support for our vibrant local food movement, greater control over our food system and food choices, and an additional resource in our community for addressing issues of food justice and worker rights, among other things.

Currently, 10 food co-ops are working on opening their doors around New England, and 117 are starting up nationwide. It's a great time to be starting a co-op, and it's a great time to become a founding member-owner!

Take a look at our membership brochure:

Member-Owner Brochure

Member-Owner Sign-up Form

To join by mail, you may print and fill out the form on page two and mail a check made payable to "Amherst Food Co-op" to:

Amherst Food Co-op
141 North Pleasant Street
PO Box 169
Amherst, MA 01002

To join online, please click "Join Online" above.

Once we process your membership, we will send you a welcome e-mail with your member number.

What are the benefits of member-ownership at Amherst Food Co-op?

Patronage Dividends. Rebates will be issued to members at the end of profitable years, as determined by the Board of Directors.
Voting rights and the option to run for the Board of Directors. You will be able to participate in co-op decisions and run for the Board of Directors.
Bulk Ordering. Opportunities for members to participate in bulk buying will be available.
Member Discounts. Some sales will be available to members only, and members will receive discounts on member appreciation days.
Access to education and event space.
The co-op will be a place for food and community education.

By becoming a member-owner you are investing in our community!

By investing in the co-op, you are supporting...

  • meaningful, empowering employment opportunities for workers --> all workers will also be owners of the Co-op!
  • the livelihood of local farmers and producers --> we'll prioritize local producers and local food, as much as possible
  • a strong, fair, community-based economy --> we're strengthening community and economic resilience
  • a safer, healthier food system --> small, local farmers engage in more sustainable business practices
  • accessible food for all --> our goal: "as affordable as possible to as many in the community as possible."
  • educational community space --> a community space in the co-op to teach, to learn, to share, and to grow

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a member-ownership cost? Your member-ownership share is a one-time cost of $175.00. It can be paid in full, or through a payment plan of $25 per quarter.

Do I have to be a member to shop at the co-op? No. Anyone can shop at the co-op, regardless of membership status!

Will I have to volunteer my time in addition to my investment?  No. There is no work requirement for member-ownership.

How big will the store be? We are proposing a 12,000 sq. ft. store with approximately 8000 sq. ft. of retail space. It will be slightly smaller than our sister co-op, River Valley Co-op.

Where will the co-op be located? This is probably the most frequently asked question. Accessibility and affordability are key to our mission, so we will do everything we can to ensure that the location of the co-op is as accessible as possible by foot, bicycle, bus, or car, while remaining as affordable as possible. The Co-op will be close to downtown Amherst and on a bus line to ensure access to all.

 

Have questions about membership? Send us an e-mail at amherstfoodcoop@gmail.com .

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