What is Membership?

Since the beginning, GreenStar's mission focused on making nutritious, whole food available to its members. But membership means more than just access to good, healthy food...

When you join the Co-op you become a Member-Owner of a locally-owned and cooperatively operated values-based business. We focus on the social and environmental impact GreenStar makes on our local and global community, as well as economic performance. We put our values first, and return all profits back to the Co-op or donate them to the community.

The co-operative business model has proven to be a strong alternative to traditional profit-driven businesses. And, for every dollar you spend in a locally-owned business or cooperative, 45 cents is return to the community, compared to only 13 cents when you spend a dollar at a chain store.

One Member – One Vote means your voice truly counts!

Like all consumer co-ops, GreenStar is owned and democratically run by the people who use the store. Unlike traditional corporations where the amount of a stockholder's investment determines his or her voting power, every member at GreenStar has equal voting rights. As a Member-Owner, you have an equal say in the future direction of GreenStar.

By investing and participating in your co-op, you're putting your values into action.

Through your Equity Share investment and patronage, GreenStar supports the health and well-being of our member-owners, our community and the planet by:

  • Purchasing from local farmers and businesses
  • Paying a livable wage
  • Using clean energy and recycled office supplies
  • Supporting organic agriculture and fair trade producers
  • Offering health insurance to employees
  • Donating to local charities and events
  • Providing education on nutrition, health and sustainability
  • Improving access to healthy food to those on limited budgets through the FLOWER program



What's Your Vision for GreenStar's Future?


By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager


The goal of the Membership Corner this month is quite simple — to find out who among our member-owners is interested in providing input as Council works on developing a general vision and direction for GreenStar for the next five to ten years.

One of the exciting and truly satisfying aspects of being a GreenStar member-owner is the opportunity to have a say in the mission and goals of the cooperative. We're at a point in time when that opportunity is coming before the membership in a significant way. When Council passed Policy Governance as its new model of leadership structure in December of 2010, they committed not only to reviewing our current policies, but to conducting a thorough review of the Co-op's long-term vision, direction and desired outcomes for years to come.

As the governing board of GreenStar, it is Council's responsibility to set the vision, direction and outcomes of the Co-op for the years to come. As a cooperative, we naturally need that vision to reflect our cooperative values and principles, as well as the fact that we measure success using a "triple bottom line," which distinguishes us from traditional for-profit businesses. This triple bottom line includes not just our financial success, but also takes into account the social and environmental impact we want GreenStar to have on its member-owners, the community and the world.

Setting the vision, direction and outcomes is a critical and challenging task, particularly for a large co-op like GreenStar whose member-owners reflect wide-ranging needs, interests and concerns. That's why member-owner input into the visioning process is so essential — to ensure that our vision incorporates and balances the diverse needs of our membership.

Here's where you, as a member-owner, come in. Council plans to schedule a series of get-togethers so member-owners can share their ideas for the Co-op as they see it developing over the next five to ten years. These gatherings may take on different forms, perhaps larger member forums or smaller, more intimate group discussions, and will likely start in the late summer or early fall.

Council will use this input to establish "Ends" policies, which outline the general long-term direction and outcomes that Council wants the General Manager (GM) to achieve. The GM will then work with the Co-op's management to set specific goals, policies, procedures and programs to bring about the desired outcomes, which will reflect the desires of the member-owners. In the end, the visioning process will come full circle and open the door to incredible opportunities and achievements we might never have imagined at the outset if the process had been left to a handful of people.

If you're interested in participating in member-owner discussions and other forms of feedback concerning the development of our Ends policies, please fill out the form below and drop it in the special box placed at the Member Center in each store.

Current Job Postings

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