Owned by workers and consumers, the Co-op is a grocery store that draws together the diverse communities of the Amherst area in an inclusive space supporting food justice and local resilience.
About Common Share Food Coop
To achieve our mission, we will:
- build a joyful, welcoming, accessible grocery store that is inviting to all communities
- honor and expand diverse cultures of delicious and healthy food
- gather workers, local producers, and consumers together to create a thriving, resilient food system
- strive to end racism and address social and economic inequality
- foster mutual understanding and respect for differences
Common Share Food Co-op commits to fostering and creating an anti-racist, anti-discriminatory environment, and to engaging in anti-racist and anti-discriminatory practices. We recognize that for Common Share Food Co-op to benefit the entire community, it must reflect and be responsive to the needs of the entire community. Common Share Food Co-op commits to working together with our community to address issues of racial, social, and economic justice in the food system and to create a food store that will serve all. We encourage all members of our community to participate in the creation of the business, to become member-owners, and to run for leadership positions.
Common Share Food Co-op will strive to:
- Build a locally owned food store that will work in collaboration with other existing community resources to help strengthen community resilience
- Create meaningful jobs for our worker-owners
- Pay fair wages to our worker-owners
- Keep decision-making power in the hands of the worker-owners and the member-owners, in collaboration with an elected Board of Directors
- Engage in anti-racist, anti-discriminatory hiring practices and policies
- Ensure physical access to the store for people with disabilities
- Continually work to find ways to make the store as economically accessible as possible to as many people in the community as possible
- Support our local farmers and producers, helping to reduce our dependence on large, corporate food-production systems that contribute to environmental degradation
- Strengthen our local economy and keep our hard-earned dollars in the community
- Offer educational workshops
The Common Share Food Co-op will be a full-service, community- and worker-owned grocery store located close to downtown Amherst and on a bus line. The store will feature local, sustainably grown, organic and conventional produce, meats, and dairy products, as well as all the other things you’d expect to find in a grocery store — bulk foods, dry goods, frozen foods, etc. The Co-op will also carry a range of household and cleaning products.
The Co-op’s professional Market Study, completed in the fall of 2017, assumed a 12,000 sq. ft. store with 7,500 sq. feet of retail space and approximately 75 parking spaces. A store of this size would make shopping accessible and convenient and would be large enough to include a variety of grocery store departments, including produce, meat, dairy, a deli with prepared foods, and a hot bar with grab-and-go meals. The store will also offer frozen foods, a bakery, a small café area, and a beer and wine section.
A key feature of the Common Share Food Co-op will be an active community space where member-owners can come together to share information and ideas, working together toward common goals. The space will be available for everything from meetings to workshops and classes to community activism.
The Common Share Food Co-op will be owned collectively by its member-owners –everyone who joins the Co-op by purchasing a member share — and by the workers-owners — all the workers at the Co-op. This model of ownership is called a hybrid or a multi-stakeholder model. Four of the nine seats on the on the Board of Directors will be reserved for worker-owners which will give workers a strong voice in leadership and an increased sense of ownership.
The Common Share Food Co-op will be a vibrant community gathering space, bringing people from all our parts of our community together through food to support our local farmers and producers, strengthen our local economy, and build resilience in our community while nourishing our bodies, minds, and spirits.