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MSmith88 01-19-2013 12:53 PM

food co-ops
DH and I have decided to split half of a cow with his parents but now I have heard a lot of you talk about food co-ops! How does this work? How can I find one?

oregonmom 01-19-2013 01:38 PM

Re: food co-ops
I have never been part of one, but I know that you can find them on

armywife2002 01-19-2013 04:49 PM

Re: food co-ops
i use for my produce

debcita429 01-19-2013 05:09 PM

Re: food co-ops
I would put in a google search for "natural food co-op" and your state and/or ask around w/ moms. I've gotten a couple of items from Bulk Natural Foods which operates in Tenn. and several surrounding states. But I don't know where you are.

BSWmama 01-19-2013 05:42 PM

Re: food co-ops

Originally Posted by MSmith88 (Post 16179302)
DH and I have decided to split half of a cow with his parents but now I have heard a lot of you talk about food co-ops! How does this work? How can I find one?

Do you mean for vegetables? Localharvest as someone suggested, or google your state or town and "CSA" - community supported agriculture. Usually you pay in the late winter for a share of vegetables from the farm during the growing season (here it usually is around 20 weeks, June - October). We have loved ours, and just moved so we've found a new one and hope it is just as good.

Or, do you mean like a natural health food store or place to order pantry staples in bulk?

Marianna1988 01-19-2013 08:58 PM

Re: food co-ops
What kind of co-op do you mean? A co-op, just in general terms, is a group of people joining forces with goods and/or finances to recieve goods or services at a discount. For food, it could be a local CSA or an actual storefront or anything in between. Here, we have a store that is a natural/organic co-op. You pay an annual membership to recieve a discount on the food they sell. It is open to the public as well, but obviously non-members don't get the discount. We also have a variety of CSAs (community supported agriculture) where a bunch of people pay a farm before the planting season, and they receive a share of the produce after it is harvested (there are also slightly mroe expensive options, with less commitment, like Bountiful Baskets; you can order those 1 week at a time and you don't have to pay for the whole season ahead of time, but overall it adds up to be more expensive--still cheaper than grocery store though). There are also bulk ordering co-ops, like Azure Standard and Frontier (my local grocery store orders Frontier spices and coffee, in addition to some other bulk items).

To find these, I just googled my town and what I was looking for :)

pgkcb13 01-20-2013 12:07 AM

Re: food co-ops
I think some people consider azure standards a co-op
We just started using them and it's a great way to get things in bulk.

We also shop local co-op grocery stores, for that I would just try googling your city + natural foods co-op.

We're part of a CSA during season (late spring through late fall here) which is completely awesome.

I guess it depends on what you're looking for?

Sarah-B 01-20-2013 01:01 AM

Thanks for this thread I think I will try bountiful baskets this coming week

MSmith88 01-20-2013 08:55 AM

Re: food co-ops
I don't think I knew exactly what I wanted :) Definitely produce... but I had no idea there was more! Thanks!

Brooke789 01-20-2013 06:04 PM

Re: food co-ops
We joined a local food co-op. They have a variety of things, like a smaller version of a grocery store. They sold HBA, produce, a little meat, dairy, frozen, spices. It was $2/month for your coop fee and then everything was marked with the coop's cost and you paid a mark-up based on your 'work'. DH was doing work for the coop and we got a 12% markup versus the standard 30% markup.

It wasn't great for us. We have our own personal Frontier ( membership, so we didn't want to pay the markup on any of those items. We did put in a set order for local butter and milk that we picked up every week. Before we joined the coop we paid $5/gallon at Whole Foods. The coop's price was $4 + your mark up, so we saved a few cents there, but it was more convenient for us than WF. I actually found that a lot of the items I could get for the same price at WF by buying the WF 365 version rather than the brand name. All in all we decided not to rejoin for this year. If we lived in an area without good Organic/natural/local options we would have stuck with it though.

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