FAQs

General

Why is the Co-op changing itself to a legal cooperative?

Since we’ve already been calling ourselves a cooperative, it is time to actually become one. A cooperative is a longstanding business model accompanied by a solid set of principles that includes: Voluntary & Open Membership; Democratic Member Control; Members’ Economic Participation; Autonomy & Independence, Education, Training and Information; Cooperation among Cooperatives; Concern for Community.

If I am currently a member of the Co-op, does my membership transfer automatically?

Yes. You do not have to fill out a new membership application. You will be signed up automatically

What is the cost of membership?

All members will have an Equity Share in the new San Juan Island Food Co-op.  An equity Share costs $200. This can be paid all at once or paid $20 per year over 10 years.

If I have been a member of the Co-op, do my past membership fees count toward my Equity Share?

Yes. Any membership payments you have made will be applied to your Equity Share. Any shortage below the $200 will remain and can be paid at the rate of $20 per year; any payment above the $200 will not be refunded.

Will there still be household or seasonal memberships?

Household memberships will remain, with one Equity Share member qualifying the entire household to shop at the Co-op. There will no longer be seasonal memberships.

Will the Co-op pay a dividend for shopping, like REI?

The purpose of the Co-op is to deliver high quality food at the lowest possible price and not to generate excess profit. There is a provision for a disbursement of surplus profits to the membership, and that may eventually happen. A disbursement of profits would come after employees have adequate compensation packages, and infrastructure improvements needed to better your shopping experience have been completed.

What other changes are in store at the Co-op?

Improvements slated for the near future are: new front entrance and deck, new produce display cooler, walk-in/display freezer, new POS system, and an additional checkout register.  The goal with all these projects is to make the Co-op a more comfortable,  efficient and pleasant shopping experience.