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
Sunday, 01 September 2013 21:37
By Alexis Alexander,
In the July GreenLeaf, I wrote about a presentation on GreenStar's diversity and inclusion efforts that I co-delivered with Council President 12th Moon at the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Conference (CCMA) in Austin, Texas. This month, I'd like to share another story about my Austin adventure.
CCMA always starts on a Thursday afternoon with various tours for the participants. Each tour includes a number of stops to educate participants about the area. These may include local farms, urban gardens, architectural or historical places of interest, community development projects, and other co-ops. All the tours share one stop in common — the local food co-op hosting the conference.
This year, I selected the "Local Tour," which focused on successful local businesses, including BookPeople, Waterloo Records, Amy's Ice Cream, Black Star Co-op (the world's first cooperatively owned and employee "self-managed" brewpub), and, of course, our host, Wheatsville Food Co-op. While those who know me best will say I chose this tour for the ice cream, truth is that my interest was piqued when I read that the owners of BookPeople and Waterloo Records would be speaking about how the stores have thrived during a time when so many independent book and music stores have gone out of business. It's a subject close to my heart, although I have to admit the idea of having the best ice cream in town didn't hurt my decision making any!
Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:16
By Alexis Alexander,
Come join us on Monday, Sept. 2 for the 5th annual Labor Day Worker Appreciation Ice Cream Social. Celebrate the dedication and important contributions of our super-workers, member-workers, and staff over a bowl of delicious dairy or vegan ice cream, topped with luscious strawberry sauce, chocolate syrup, or granola. The ice cream social is held in the parking lot of the West-End store and begins at 2 pm, continuing until the ice cream runs out. Come early as we seem to finish up earlier each year!
And speaking of member labor...
In times past, member labor programs were the backbone of the natural food cooperative movement. Co-ops depended on their member-owners to complete most, if not all, tasks in the co-op. Although today many co-ops have moved away from the member labor model, at GreenStar our program is thriving. In 2012, over 430 member-owners volunteered in some capacity. We are lucky to have so many member-owners who want to get involved in the daily operations and governance of GreenStar. And their contributions are noteworthy — from on-the-sales-floor help stocking, fronting and facing, bagging groceries, and cleaning our stores to behind-the-scenes work in administrative departments, on committees, and on Council — the dedication of our volunteers is vital to our success as a co-op.
Monday, 01 July 2013 21:42
By Alexis Alexander,
Many co-ops, including GreenStar, have struggled in their attempts to expand their membership to more accurately reflect the socioeconomic and racial demographics of their communities at large. Over the past few years, GreenStar has undertaken significant food access and community partnership initiatives, which are effecting real change in our community.
We recently presented our efforts in those areas to fellow co-op representatives from around the country at the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) conference. This yearly conference offers informative workshops and networking opportunities for board members, management, and staff of food cooperatives. We hope that sharing the multifaceted approach we've successfully undertaken over the past few years might help other co-ops initiate successful diversity and inclusion programs.
GreenStar's presentation was entitled "A Working Model of Diversity & Inclusion for Food Cooperatives." We presented to a room packed with highly interested cooperators, eager to hear our message.
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By Becca Harber
Since 2004, learning, practicing and teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which I like to call Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication, continues to change me. I listen much more empathically and supportively and I blurt things out so much less often (those little outbursts that people seem to hear as critical and judgmental). I have much more choice about...