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.
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
Friday, 01 August 2014 17:04
By Alexis Alexander,
June 6 marked a milestone in GreenStar's history when Brenda Wickes became the 10,000th member-owner of the Co-op! Even more impressive, this milestone represents the number of current member-owners, not the total number of people who have been member-owners over the 43 years of the Co-op's existence. In honor of this landmark event, we presented Brenda with a $100 GreenStar gift card (see Brenda's photo in the July Photo Album on page 9).
While a new member-owner, Brenda is not actually new to the Co-op. She has been a loyal GreenStar customer for many years, shopping regularly twice a week. Balancing a busy schedule while raising children, Brenda believed that she couldn't maintain a GreenStar membership based on a very common misconception: she didn't realize that participation in the Member Labor program is not a requirement for GreenStar membership. Although she values volunteering, she knew it wouldn't work with her schedule. Consequently, she was very grateful when a cashier recently informed her that volunteering is optional. She purchased a membership that day!
Welcome Brenda — our 10,000th member-owner — and thank you for your loyal support over the years.
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 18:46
By Alexis Alexander,
If you've been thinking about getting more involved in the Co-op, you couldn't pick a better time! We currently have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available. Of particular note is a large number of weekly in-store super-worker shifts that need to be filled in order to adequately support our retail departments. For those looking for monthly committee work, occasional event work, or volunteer options to help with GreenStar Community Projects, our nonprofit affiliate, we've got opportunities for you, too!
Volunteering is an important co-op tradition that provides member-owners the opportunity to become actively involved in supporting GreenStar's mission. It's a great way for us, as member-owners, to connect with one another while supporting the business that we mutually own and help govern. Volunteering also provides a great member-owner benefit, earning each participant a higher discount at the register.
What is the commitment and what do I get in return?
In-store super-workers are assigned a regular weekly two-hour shift in a specific department. The shift is scheduled for the same day and time each week. For every two-hour shift worked, super-workers receive a 17.5 percent discount, good for one week.
Generally, we ask for a four-month commitment for super-worker shifts out of respect for the time it takes department staff to train super-workers. However, during the summertime, we sometimes accommodate shorter commitments for certain shifts, so it's worth asking us if you can take a shift for just 2 to 3 months.
How to volunteer?
All available super-worker shifts are posted at the Member Center in both the West-End and Dewitt Mall locations. To request a super-worker shift, simply choose one or two shifts on the board that work for you and fill out a Member Labor Request Form. You will then receive a call from the relevant store. We fill super-worker shifts on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, it's a good idea to request more than one shift since other member-owners may be in line before you for a given shift.
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 15:39
A New Documentary Shows How Food Co-ops Are a Force for Change
By Alexis Alexander,
If you attended the Annual Spring Member Meeting in April this year, you had the opportunity to watch the trailer for a powerful new documentary, Food for Change: The Story of Cooperation in America. This feature-length film shows how food co-ops are a force for dynamic social and economic change in American culture, working to strengthen the communities where they're located by enhancing local economies and food security. Both long-term co-op member-owners and those new to or unfamiliar with the cooperative movement have much to gain from viewing the documentary. According to the film's website, the goal of the documentary is "to educate a wide national audience about the principles of cooperation with a focus on food."
The Membership Committee of GreenStar Council is excited to host a second showing of Food for Change on Friday, June 20 at 6:30 pm at the Space @ GreenStar. We first screened the film at the Space to rave reviews this past February. Those who attended the screening encouraged us to host another so that more people could see the film. The movie screening is free, with doors opening at 6 pm. Popcorn and beverages will be served!
The Food for Change project began when Steve Alves, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and member-owner of the Franklin Community Cooperative, was asked to make a film for his co-op located in Greenfield, Massachusetts. In his research, Alves uncovered many historical films and stories about the growth of cooperatives during the Great Depression, when the Cold War and consumerism began to dominate our culture socially and economically. For a time, the great achievements of these cooperatives were thwarted, only to emerge again in the tumultuous environment of the sixties when food co-ops came to be seen as a viable alternative to factory farms and corporate grocery chains.
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The rocks are not so close akin to us as the soil; they are one more remove from us; but they lie back of all, and are the final source of all. ... Time, geologic time, looks out at us from the rocks as from no other objects in the landscape.
— John Burroughs
By Joe Romano,