Cooperatives – the business model of the future

In recognition – and celebration – the NW Cooperative Development Center, the Alaska Cooperative Development Program, and Mission Mountain Food Enterprise and Cooperative Development Center, are partnering to present “Celebrating Our Food Community,” a conference to consider how cooperative business models will contribute to the future of our local and regional food systems. We spoke with Jan Tusick, Center Director for Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, about her organization’s part in establishing and supporting co-ops in western Montana.

PCC Natural Markets – Co-ops in the 21st Century

Walk into any of the nine PCC Natural Markets in Puget Sound and it’s clear your not in your parents’ (or grandparents, if you’re young enough) food co-op! No more cozy slightly run-down food markets with barrels of flour and bags of rice on the floor, around which barefoot children played tag while their parents debated politics and planned social actions against “the establishment.” Today, the PCC (as it’s fondly referred to here in Seattle) is every bit the contemporary supermarket. So what is so special about the nation’s largest natural food co-operative?

Natural Food Co-ops: Putting Local Sourcing Into Practice

Food co-ops are different and they fit more comfortably into small towns and unique neighborhoods. Because they reflect the values and principles of their owners and members they can differentiate themselves more easily. We offer you a look at six very different natural food co-ops. Each one has its own personality and each one is committed to buying products from local providers.

Food Front Co-op: Different Is Good

Large conventional retailers replicate stores across the landscape and are not so careful about reflecting local community demographics and product preferences. Natural food co-ops, because they are member-owned, take on the personalities of their surrounding neighborhoods. Food Front Co-op in Portland OR shows how different is good.

Central Co-op – Strongly Committed to Democracy, Community, and Sustainability

Seattle’s Central Co-op – which recently returned to its original name after a 10-year stint as Madison Market – is unique in a number of ways and the Co-op’s very strong personality shows through. The location, the owner membership, and the cooperative structure have turned this market into one of the most politically and socially active co-ops in the Pacific Northwest.