Frequently Asked Questions
1. 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.
2. How will the Port Orford CommUnity Co-op be 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.
3. Why do co-ops have memberships?
Co-ops are built on memberships. Members own and help make decisions about the Co-op. Members also provide the start-up financial foundation of the business.
4. Do you 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.
5. 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 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 will receive other member benefits at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
6. When and where will the Port Orford CommUnity Co-op be opening?
We hope to open in Spring of 2013.
7. What needs to be done next?
The Co-op will be accepting donations and memberships to enable a successful start-up in the Spring.
8. How much will a membership cost?
The membership is $100 for a lifetime membership, with a $25 annual renewal fee. Four installments of $25 can be made if desired.
9. Can the Co-op be financially successful?
We are very confident of this. The intent is that the Co-op will have the ability to generate profit so that we can provide additional services to the membership and the community.
10. Will I be able to do all of my shopping at the Co-op?
Many people will be able to do the majority or perhaps all of their grocery and related shopping at the Co-op. We are planning that our selection of products will be fairly broad. Additionally, members will be able to order special products.
• 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
11. How will you be 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 will emphasize locally produced products when available to help stimulate local agriculture, eliminate the impact of long distance shipping and cycle money through the local economy. Port Orford CommUnity Co-op will provide educational services that allow shoppers to make better-informed and more healthful choices.
12. How will the presence of a local Co-op benefit the Port Orford community?
There will be many benefits, especially since it is our intent to complement the existing businesses rather than compete with them:
• 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 is now 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;
• Financially viable enterprise that contributes to the economic vitality of Port Orford.
13. How do I get involved?
There are all kinds of things that will need to be done to create the Port Orford CommUnity Co-op, and your skills can help, whether writing business plans and grants, or hosting fundraisers, building displays or just talking to your friends about the Co-op.