The Food Co-op was started in the early ‘70’s by a group of CSU students who wanted to bring healthy, affordable food to Northern Colorado. The original concept was as a buying club, where members purchased whole cases together, to save money. Before too long a store front was acquired, and bulk foods were put out in a “scoop-your-own” fashion. All members helped in the operation of the store, as a component of membership.
Fast-forward 40-plus years, and the Food Co-op is still a vital part of the Ft Collins natural food scene. A few things have changed: we now maintain a full-service grocery store including everything from locally-crafted body care products, to grocery sundries, to local, natural meats. We are now open 7 days a week, with a full staff, and no longer require our shoppers to volunteer in the store.
But there are some enduring (and endearing!) qualities of the co-op that we’re pleased to say have not yet changed: we are still Ft Collins ONLY not-for-profit and member-owned grocery store! We still exist to promote healthy, sustainable food choices, support the local food economy, and offer bulk purchasing to help our shoppers save money and the environment! We are here to serve our owners and community through providing vetted products and wonderful customer service. Because we’re owned by our members and not a corporation, we are able to quickly and directly affect positive change in our community.
We still operate democratically, aim to support our staff with a living wage, and strive to carry what our membership requests. We are still not “corporate”, bowing to industry trends and satisfying share-holders rather than our customers. We are cooperatively managed by 6 long-time staff members who work diligently to manage our retail space. Our Board of Directors are voted in by our ownership and are current owner/shoppers themselves! Together our General Management Team and the Board of Directors make democratic decisions for the health and vision of our co-operative community.
Stop in and check us out today! You don’t need to be a member in order to shop with us. Your purchases make a difference in our local food economy!