Many of our shoppers come to Company Shops Market because they care about their wellbeing and the health of their families. They know that Company Shops Market is a reliable and trustworthy place to find whole foods, natural and organic products, and food that has been produced transparently. As a grocery store, Company Shops Market provides shoppers with delicious options, and takes the guesswork out of nutrition. But as a co-operatively owned business, Company Shops Market offers much more.
Joining Company Shops Market as an owner allows you rights that non-owners do not enjoy, such as 10% off sales on Wednesdays and the second Saturday of the month, the right to an end-of-year dividend, and the right to run for a position on the Board of Directors. Perhaps most importantly, you earn the right to elect Board Members, who set policies and procedures for the store, hire the General Manager, and set the vision for the future. By either becoming a Board Member yourself, or communicating with your elected Board Members, you have the ability to influence the operations and role of the store.
However, the true privilege of being an owner of Company Shops Market, or any other cooperative organization, is becoming part of a system that values the local community and that is committed to equitable social and economic development. The United Nations so values the role co-operatives play in grassroots democracy that 2012 was declared “The Year of The Co-Op,” and the UN announced that co-ops “promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of all people…and are becoming a major factor of economic and social development and contribute to the eradication of poverty.” When you become a member of a food co-op, like Company Shops Market, you commit not only to your own health, but the health of your entire community. We appreciate the UN’s fancy language, but here at Company Shops, we put it more simply: Local Food for Local People.
By supporting local farmers and food businesses, and by employing local people, food co-ops re-localize the food system and create resilient and inclusive economies. With their collective buying power, food co-ops are able to offer food at lower prices, making nutritious food accessible to people of all socioeconomic background and increasing the food security of a community. Because they serve such a diverse array of people, and are owned by the people they serve, food co-ops have the ability to bring people together and act as the center of a community.
When you become an owner at Company Shops Market, you assert your belief in a self-sustaining, equitable economy, and in the power of democratic governance. You declare your concern for your neighbor, and commit yourself to believing in a world where everyone has their basic needs met. You also accept the responsibilities of being an owner of a co-op, which include supporting Company Shops Market, spreading the word to other community members, and finding ways that Company Shops Market can connect with the community.
So what are you waiting for? Invest in yourself, invest in your neighbor, invest in Alamance County, and become part of Company Shops Market today! If you’re already an owner, help us bring more local food to more local people, and bring a new friend into the store! We’ll be waiting with the coffee.