Frequently Asked Questions

A food co-op buys food and household items for its members. The co-op helps members obtain access to products of desired quality at the best possible price. Food co-ops offer consumers a retail environment free of coercive sales influences and with full disclosure of product qualities and value.

What is a food co-op?

A food co-op buys food and household items for its members. The co-op helps members obtain access to products of desired quality at the best possible price. Food co-ops offer consumers a retail environment free of coercive sales influences and with full disclosure of product qualities and value.

How is the Port Orford CommUnity Co-op different from other stores?

The Port Orford CommUnity Co-op is more than a grocery store: it is a community owned business that provides convenient access to fresh, local, organic and healthy food and products while also providing opportunities for education and community gatherings

Why do co-ops have memberships?

Co-ops are built on memberships. At POCC, we refer to members as Owners because they own and help make decisions about the Co-op. Early members also provided the start-up financial foundation of the business.

Do I have to be a member to shop at the Port Orford CommUnity Co-op?

No. Everyone is welcome to shop and everyone is welcome to join. Anyone can shop at the Co-op but the Co-op needs members to provide a financial foundation for the store.

If everybody can shop at the Co-op, why become a member?

Members provide community support for the Co-op. Their investment in buying a share and their involvement by volunteering make the Co-op possible. Also, members receive specific benefits - they vote for members of the Board of Directors of the Co-op and on other matters brought before the membership. Members receive other member benefits at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

How much does a membership cost?

The membership is $100 for a lifetime membership. Four monthly installments of $25 can be made instead if desired. (Previously, a $25 annual renewal fee was required; the board dropped this once the co-op reached financial stability.)

Can I do all of my shopping at the Co-op?

Many people can do the majority or perhaps all of their grocery and related shopping at the Co-op. Our selection of products is fairly broad. Additionally, members can order special products by contacting the co-op.
•  Fresh produce, with an emphasis on organic and locally grown.
•  Dairy products, including organic and hormone-free milk and artisan cheeses.
•  Quality local fish products.
•  Meat without hormones or antibiotics; free-range chicken.
•  Personal health items, including shampoos, bulk soaps, essential oils, bath salts, etc.
•  Baking supplies and healthy baked goods
•  Vitamins and supplements

How is the co-op able to compete with other area grocery stores?

We have a different offering than other local grocers - their emphasis is on price and variety within the high volume mainstream. Port Orford CommUnity Co-op emphasizes locally produced products when available to help stimulate local agriculture, eliminate the impact of long distance shipping and cycle money through the local economy. We also provide educational services that allow shoppers to make better-informed and more healthful choices.

How does the presence of a local Co-op benefit the Port Orford community?

There are many benefits, especially since our intent is to complement existing Port Orford businesses rather than compete with them. Some are to:
•  Support local farmers, thereby contributing to the continuing viability of local farms;
•  Help keep dollars circulating within the community;
•  Provide easier access to a wider variety of healthy, organic and natural foods than was previously available in Port Orford;
•  Provide an educational service to the community in regard to healthy living and health-supportive cooking and eating habits;
•  Serve as a community meeting place for discussions and sharing information about the environment, economic localization, and other topics of concern;
•  Contribute to the economic vitality of Port Orford as a financially viable enterprise.

How do I get involved?

There are all kinds of things that need to be done to keep the Port Orford CommUnity Co-op running, both regularly recurring and one-time projects. Options include in the store, in the co-op permaculture demonstration garden, out in the community, and in your own home. In order to volunteer, you must be a member of a member household. Learn about joining here.

Also, whether you are a member or not, you can contribute financially via donation or by making bequest to the co-op in your will.

Can I walk to the beach from the co-op? (Yes.)