Last Minute Holiday Shopping? Head Out to Your Local Natural Food Co-op

Still have a few folks on your shopping list? No worries! Just head out to your local natural food co-op where you can find all sorts of goodies for last minute gifts.
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Kelly Wiseman, Bozeman Community Food Co-op

Kelly Wiseman, general manager, Bozeman (MT) Community Food Co-op, talks about labeling and certification to support local, organic, and sustainable farmers.
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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.
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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.
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Holly Jarvis, General Manager of Food Front Co-op, Portland OR

Holly Jarvis, General Manager, talks about how Food Front Co-op meets the needs of the two distinctly different neighborhoods where the Co-op is located.
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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.
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The Moscow Food Co-op – Small, Determined, Successful

We had the opportunity to speak with Kenna Eaton, the Co-op’s General Manager, and learned how a small retailer in the middle of the Palouse – the rolling hills and prairie grass of southeast Washington and northern Idaho – is successful.
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Food Co-ops Grow Up – No Longer All Crunchy Granola and Birkenstocks

Natural and health food stores come in all sizes; from mega chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and mini-chain cooperatives like PCC Natural Markets to small, independent groceries with annual sales from $2 to $20 million. The independence – and, yes, the political and philosophical leanings – of these small retail stores make each one different and contributes to the diversity of the business landscape.
Read more: Food Co-ops Grow Up – No Longer All Crunchy Granola and Birkenstocks

Skagit Valley Food Co-op: Not Too Small, Not Too Big, Just Right

Like Goldilocks in search of “just right,” local food markets struggle with size. On the “Too Small” end, we are seeing markets in small rural communities disappear. On the “Too Big” end, we see “supernaturals” like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s descending en masse on large urban areas. For communities with populations of 25,00 to 50,000 people, markets like Skagit Food Co-op find the size “Just Right!”
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