What is a co-op?

Question: What is a co-op?

Answer: A “co-op” is a cooperatively owned business governed by its members. Co-ops are typically guided by the principles of the International Cooperative Alliance, which include:

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Member economic participation
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Concern for community

A co-op exists to serve its members. It encourages their participation and feedback. And it operates to meet their goals. These might include providing access to fresh, local foods, encouraging community development or promoting economic stability.

View this video for an overview: 

Question: Why become a member?

Answer: Co-ops exist to serve their members.  Without members, a co-op can’t exist! By investing equity in the co-op, members help build and shape the organization. They also have a say in how it operates through  voting. Members may also get additional benefits, such as discounts, dividends & more.

Question: How much will it cost to be a member of the co-op?

A: $400 is the membership equity for the Ambler Food Co-op. Since member equity will provide a significant portion of the capital needed to open a store, and every member will be encouraged to pay their full equity, payment plans will be available. A membership will be held by a household. Our co-op bylaws will lay out how you will be able to take your membership equity with you if you choose to leave the Co-op.