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



Co-op Membership: More Than Just a Discount!

Friday, 31 May 2013 17:36

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

coop-rocks-300pxThe cooperative movement is strong and growing, here in Ithaca and around the world. According to Worldwatch Institute, there are currently one billion cooperative members worldwide. With the world facing much economic hardship and uncertainty, diminishing natural resources, and a global-warming crisis, many have turned to cooperatives as trusted organizations that support local, sustainable development and long-term security.

We experience this surge in interest every day at GreenStar. By the end of April, our growth in new memberships was 10 percent higher than at the same time last year, a significant figure given our status as a mature co-op. Even with this growth, I wonder about those still not being reached, people who could really benefit from being a part of our co-op but aren't aware of what it offers. As a cooperative, we have the responsibility to educate others about this model and the values-based principles that guide it. One way member-owners can support the Co-op is by participating in this education process through conversations with people in our community. For many non-members, it's easy to think that GreenStar is just another grocery store. But as GreenStar members-owners, we know our two stores offer much more than a place to shop.

So what can we say to those who aren't aware of what GreenStar is really about? First and foremost, as a cooperative, GreenStar is a member-owned, self-governing organization that exists for the benefit of its member-owners. This means that every person who becomes a member of GreenStar is actually a part-owner of the Co-op. Simply stated, the central benefit that GreenStar provides its member-owners is access to wholesome, natural food and other high-quality products at the lowest practical prices. We do this in a way that exercises ecological responsibility, fair treatment of employees, promotion of local farmers and products, and good community stewardship.

Read more: Co-op Membership: More Than Just a Discount!


It's Springtime and GreenStar Rocks!

Sunday, 05 May 2013 17:53


Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet.

— Bob Marley

By Alexis Alexander,
Membership Manager 

MosaicMay is finally here — that joyous time of year when we can begin soaking up the warmth, kick off our shoes, and dance up a storm.

And that means it's time for our annual Dance Party in the Parking Lot! This year, we are thrilled to feature Mosaic Foundation, who will fill our parking lot with their outstanding mix of "Roots Reggae" music. Come dance with us on Thursday, May 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, as we celebrate the start of the Ithaca outdoor dance season right in our own parking lot at the West-End store.

This is a free event, open to everyone, so invite your friends and family for a fun-filled evening of music and dance.

A Special Community Service Volunteer Opportunity 
for Member-Owners

The annual GIAC Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 8, from noon to 6 pm. This is a very special event in our community that honors and supports the excellent programming GIAC provides for youth, teens, adults, seniors, and families in the greater Ithaca community. This year's festival theme is "Doing Small Things in a Great Way!" — complete with terrific music, performances, food, vendors, games, and children's activities.

Read more: It's Springtime and GreenStar Rocks!

Celebrate By Going Paperless at the 
Annual Spring Member-Owner Meeting

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 23:52

By Alexis Alexander,

Membership Manager

2013 meeting_agenda_sm_2Have you signed up to receive required GreenStar member-owner mailings by e-mail? If you have, then for the first time ever, you should have received your Annual Spring Member Mailing via e-mail at the end of March.

I can't express how excited I am to announce this to you! Sending member-owner mailings electronically is something we've wanted to do for a long time, but we didn't have enough valid e-mail addresses in our system to make it cost- effective to do so. A wholehearted thanks goes out to our cashiers for their efforts to collect e-mail addresses from our member-owners over the past year.

If you're not currently on the e-mail list and would like to receive required member-owner mailings and/or occasional announcements on GreenStar events and specials, then you can sign up at the registers or at the Member-Owner Center. Simply ask your cashier!

You can also sign up at the Annual Spring Meeting, which is on Friday, April 19, starting at 5:30 pm at The Space @ GreenStar. This year's meeting features a 50-Mile Menu prepared by our Deli using the best of locally available foodstuffs. Socialize with friends and other member-owners while enjoying a delicious dinner accompanied by live classical music.

At 6:30 pm, we'll begin the business meeting, during which our General Manager and Council will report on GreenStar's exciting accomplishments in 2012 and our plans for the future. We'll also have an opportunity to hear from the candidates who are running for Council and ask them questions about their candidacy. Also on the agenda is the Meat Referendum that's up for a vote in April. The pro and con statements will be presented, and member-owners will be invited to ask questions and participate in discussion on this topic.

Read more: Celebrate By Going Paperless at the 
Annual Spring Member-Owner Meeting


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