Why A Co+op?

A co-operative is a voluntary ownership organization, open to anyone willing to support it and accessible to everyone–including non-owners–to shop. Its member-owners ultimately decide how the co-op will operate and how operating surpluses are distributed. Because it is wholly-owned by members of the community it serves, it naturally acts with genuine concern for that community.

The United Nations declared 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives, and the International Co-operative Alliance published a Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade in early 2013. The Green Tomato Grocery is one of a network of many start-up food and grocery co-operatives in the Chicagoland area, the greater Midwestern region, and the United States itself.


  • Democratic business equally owned and controlled by members of community
  • Builds community—a Third Place
  • An empowering means for self-help and resiliency
  • Keeps jobs in the community
  • Supports local and regional farmers and producers
  • to build a sustainable food system
  • Food security
  • Money spent locally stays local


  • Nutritional value
  • Availability
  • Affordability
  • Educational Programs


  • Provides jobs
  • Fair wages and benefits
  • Money spent within our community


  • Reduces carbon footprint
  • Attention to food shed/system
  • Attention to food waste stream