F A Q

Here are questions we hear most often and some simple answers.


what is a co-op grocery store?
 


A co-op grocery store is a full service grocery store owned and governed by people in the community following cooperative values and principles. It is operated for the benefit of owners to meet their mutual needs and values. Everyone is welcome to shop at a co-op grocery store!

 

What makes a co-op grocery store different than a regular grocery?

 

A CO-OP OPERATES USING THE 7 COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES:
1. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP            2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL
3. MEMBER ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION             4. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE
5. EDUCATION, TRAINING, INFORMATION          6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES
7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY

How will a co-op grocery impact my local economy?

Cooperatives keep economic benefits within the community by creating jobs and supporting local producers and suppliers. Profit is not siphoned off by outside interests and profit is never put before the needs of owners. The Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana provided $150,000 in revenue to local producers in 2007, its first year as a full service grocery store. In 2012 that number grew to $1 million in revenue to local producers. Common Ground Food Co-op also provides high quality jobs with available benefits to over 70 employees.

 

How will Green tomato Grocery impact other local grocery stores?

The demand for local products in the Fox Valley is substantial. Historically, opening a food co-op increases business for existing local/organic food stores. ‘A rising tide raises all ships’ and our intent is to grow the local food industry in our community


What have you done so far?

Green Tomato Grocery grew from an idea to a corporation in just a few months requiring many hours of dedication from a volunteer steering committee. Since incorporation we have elected our first board, written our bylaws and accomplished a majority of the goals required during the initial organizing stage. Now we’re jump-starting our Ownership Drive and working on growing ownership by attending events, holding Community Conversations and enlisting the help of owners with Gathering events.

 

What does ownership entail and how do I become an owner?

Owners elect a Board of Directors and are eligible to serve as Board members. Founding Owners’ votes set the direction for GTG far into the future: our values, goals, owner benefits, products, programs and services we offer. Today’s owners are making key decisions. Ownership is a $200 investment (2 shares) in the Co-op.

Where will the store be located?

When GTG grows to 300 owners the process to determine potential locations will begin. Building ownership before having a physical storefront is a crucial step in proving we have community support and can raise the basic investment funds needed to open. Our Board of Directors will work with real estate and industry professionals to secure a location that meets the requirements important to our owners. Our founding owners will have input in where the store is located. Will you be one of these founding owners?

 


When will the store open?

Green Tomato Grocery will advance through development stages as ownership grows. Co-op advisors recommend that 1000 owners provide a strong organization and financial basis to open. We predict this will happen in a few short years. It really all depends on potential owners like YOU!