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
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 22:11
By Alexis Alexander, Membership Manager, and
Kristie Snyder, GreenLeaf Editor
These are exciting times at GreenStar, when member-owners can have a voice in decisions that will impact the Co-op, and possibly the Ithaca community, for a long time to come. In November, member-owners will be asked to vote on a potential third store, to be located in Collegetown, as well as a proposed change in the way GreenStar issues member discounts. Many opportunities are being planned for member-owners to learn about both topics in order to make informed decisions during the voting period.
October kicks off with a Member Forum to discuss the possible Collegetown store, held on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 at The Space @ GreenStar. Council and management will share the proposed plans and budget for the project and will then allow time for discussion, questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.
Throughout October, Council and management will host informational sessions to explain and answer member-owners' questions about the proposed Patronage Dividend system. These sessions will be held in the West-End store meeting room so that member-owners can easily stop by during shopping trips. Dates and times will be posted soon at the Member Centers in both stores and on the register screens.
Saturday, 01 September 2012 15:49
By Kristie Snyder,
My eight-year-old thinks GreenStar is the greatest grocery store on the planet. And who's going to tell him differently? His mom and uncle work here, other family members have worked here in the past, his grandparents shop here, and every time he steps into one of the stores he sees friends of all ages. To him, GreenStar is one big happy family, and he's far from alone in that. After 41 years in business, GreenStar now spans generations. Among GreenStar employees you'll find parents and children, siblings, spouses and partners. GreenStar's idealistic young founders now sport gray hair and bring their grandkids into the store for treats. Adults who were once babies strapped to parents' backs as they bagged bulk items are now members in their own right. Kids are practically being raised in GreenStar, and many of them, as they grow up, will carry cooperative values forward into their own lives.
The Burgevin family of Trumansburg is one of many that perfectly exemplify GreenStar's generational appeal. Patti and Jules Burgevin joined GreenStar in its infancy, back in the days of the Ithaca Real Food Co-op. Their son Peter and his wife, Margo Alexander, have been members nearly as long, and one of their two sons, now in college, is a GreenStar member, too, having bought a full-equity membership on school break a couple of years ago. (If Margo's last name rings a bell it may be because she's the sister of our Membership Manager Alexis Alexander — yet another family tie.)
"Patti and I function in a cooperative mode in our lives, and we raised our children in the same way," said Jules, so joining the local food co-op just made sense. "No other stores were carrying organic foods at that time; there were few organic farmers even in the area," added Patti. "We believe in the principles of cooperatives and what they do to help the community. And there's just good food there!"
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 01:45
By Alexis Alexander,
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.
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Old hippies don't die, they just lie low until the laughter stops and their time comes round again.
— Joseph Gallivan
By Joe Romano, Marketing Manager
In the late sixties and early 1970s when GreenStar was founded, hippies ruled the world. Oh yeah, man, there were straight-looking presidents and bankers; cops and crossing guards played their parts so they wouldn't wig-out the "straights," but the hippies we...