What is our mission?
Prairie Food Co-op is a community-owned and democratically-operated grocery store dedicated to strengthening our local economy and creating a marketplace for transparently-labeled, local, organic, and sustainable food.
As a member-owned cooperative, we will make decisions to maximize service to our Owners and our community. Our vision is to be a place to shop as well as a gathering place for people and ideas.
We aim to implement the most environmentally sustainable practices in all aspects of our operation and to join others in working toward positive environmental goals for our community. We will collaborate with other businesses and entities in our community and will put a special focus on sharing best practices on nutrition, wellness, and the benefits of moving toward a more plant-based diet.
Our success relies on the broad support of both our member-owners and the community.
What is a food co-op?
A food co-op is a special kind of business owned and controlled by its Owners. Food co-ops sell food and related items to Owners and non-owners, but rather than seeking to maximize profits, cooperatives make decisions to maximize service to their Owners and the community.
What is the vision for this food co-op?
Products: to focus on locally grown foods and offer a great selection of natural and organic products.
Environmental: to implement sustainable practices and to source from local producers whenever possible.
Community: to be a gathering place for people and ideas and to collaborate with community-based organizations.
Financial: to be financially strong by earning the broad support of our Owners and the community.
When will Prairie Food Co-op be opening?
Please click here to see detailed information about our planned store location, fundraising efforts, and preliminary timeline to open.
Why should I consider becoming an Owner?
Owners become part of something bigger, joining together to improve access to healthy foods while enhancing the quality of life in our community. Owners will also receive discounts and other benefits. For more information on Owners, click here
How much does it cost to become an owner?
Owners make a one-time investment of $200. These funds will provide base capital and cover start-up costs.
If you are unable to pay the full cost of ownership now, pay as little as $25 and enter the Installment Plan, making monthly payments until the full $200 ownership fee is paid.
What will happen to investments if the co-op fails?
Any amounts remaining will be returned to Owners on an equal basis.
Will the co-op need money in addition to Ownerships?
Yes. Prairie Food Co-op will conduct fund-raising, seek loans from Owners and borrow money from outside sources. Success in all of these depends on having sufficient Ownership so they are the fundamental source of capital and the foundation of the co-op. For a more comprehensive breakdown of the costs associated with opening a full service cooperative grocery store, click here
Will you have paid staff?
Yes, we are planning on having a full, professional staff.
Is Prairie Food Co-op a non-profit?
No. Prairie Food Co-op is a for-profit business that operates as a cooperative. This type of business makes a profit but returns a portion back to its Owners as a patronage refund. Contributions to Prairie Food Co-op are not tax deductible. On the other hand, Prairie Food Co-op will not be profit-driven. Some businesses exist to earn a profit for their owners. Cooperatives exist to provide a service to their owners. A well-run Co-op needs to be able to earn a modest profit. This profit allows the Co-op to invest in the growth of the business to better serve its member-owners, to invest in the community or to take other actions consistent with its mission. The board of directors working with all the member-owners determines these actions. Importantly, the ability of a co-op to earn a profit for its Owners means that it doesn’t take resources from the community in order to serve its member-owners but rather the Co-op generates economic and other value that is returned to the member-owners and the community.