Q: What does it cost to be a member-owner?
A: A one-time, lifetime household investment is $150. Your share makes you a co-owner of the co-op along with other member-owners. There is no annual fee.
Q: What are the benefits of joining a co-op?
A: There are numerous benefits of being a member-owner of The Village Co-op Market of Williamsville. They include:
- Member-owners can vote on co-op issues so you get a say in how the co-op works and where it spends its money. You can vote for our Board of Directors who guide the future of the co-op, or run for a seat on the Board yourself.
- When the co-op turns a profit, member-owners may be eligible for a patronage refund in proportion to their purchases. Even if you only shop at the co-op once a month, the benefits are likely to exceed your investment.
- You’ll have an opportunity to be an integral part of a vibrant community resource. There’s also a host of other member-owner benefits.
- In addition, your investment supports:
- Family farms
- Nutrition education
- Regional artisan foods
- Environmental stewardship
- Organic farming
- Fair trade
- Sustainable agriculture
Q: Do member-owners have to work at the co-op?
A: No. There is no requirement to work at the co-op. The co-op will hire and pay employees to work at the co-op.
Q: Do I have to live in the village of Williamsville to join?
A: No way! Anyone can join, everyone can shop! You must be 18 years old and live in the state of New York. In fact, we encourage anyone from surrounding towns to become member-owners.
Q: Why a food co-op?
A: Co-ops are community owned. When you shop at a co-op, your money makes a bigger impact in your community than a typical grocery store. Your food dollars work to support a thriving economy, local farmers, and a healthy environment.
Q: What will my investment be used for?
A: Member-owner equity investments fulfill the capital needs of the business.
Q: When will the co-op open?
A: We want the co-op up and running as quickly as you do! However, it takes capital and time, approximately 3 years or more (click here to see a timeline for our co-op). That’s why your investment is so important – it will help us fulfill the capital needs necessary to start the process and do it right. Also, becoming a volunteer will move us along even quicker. Click on the link below to watch a 5 minute video that explains why opening a co-op is a long process.
Q: How much money do we need to raise to open the doors of the co-op?
A: A lot, that’s why every single member-owner is important. Along with loans, fundraising and possible grants, we will get there. Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to become member-owners.
Q: How do I become a volunteer?
A: Volunteering for our food co-op is a vital part of our success and we need you! We’ll need people with various talents, skills and passion. Come be part of the next big thing to hit Williamsville. It’s easy, just fill out the form here.