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



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


A March Bouquet: FLOWER, Global Service Learning Project, GMO Activist Opportunity and More!

Friday, 01 March 2013 16:34

By Alexis Alexander

is Blooming

On Thursday, Feb. 7, the Membership Department made a presentation on our FLOWER program to approximately 20 supervisors at the Department of Social Services (DSS). The supervisors were very enthusiastic about the program's mission to improve healthy food access for individuals and families with limited financial resources. The FLOWER program offers a 15 percent discount to member-owners who currently qualify for and receive Food Stamps, Cash Assistance, Medicaid, WIC, or Free School Lunch benefits.

The DSS supervisors plan to share the information with their staff members who work directly with individuals receiving government assistance. They also offered excellent suggestions to help us improve the program, especially for prospective participants not yet familiar with GreenStar. On Thursday, March 7, we're making a similar presentation to staff at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC).

Since FLOWER's inception in October 2010, 585 member-owners have participated in the program, with current enrollment of 385. Our intention for these and future outreach efforts is to connect with more people facing financial hardship who are currently unaware of the program.

Cornell's GSL Project & GMO One-Minute Activist Opportunity

Cornell University's Global Service Learning Program offers students the ability to extend their education beyond the classroom through service-related activities in the community. As part of this program, GreenStar will host four students, each contributing 10 hours of service to the co-op.

Read more: A March Bouquet: FLOWER, Global Service Learning Project, GMO Activist Opportunity and More!

It's Time for the Annual Member-Owner Survey

Friday, 08 February 2013 16:50

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

Consumer-Survey-smHot off the presses, the Second annual Member-Owner Survey should be appearing in member-owners' mailboxes during the second week of February. The survey will be similar to last year's survey, allowing us to establish a trend in member-owner satisfaction on various topics over time. Brandon, our General Manager, will use this data on an ongoing basis in his reports to Council and to assess ways we can improve the Co-op.

The surveys are due back to the store by February 28. Just like last year, the completed surveys themselves serve as a $5 coupon. When you turn in the survey, you will receive $5 off any purchases you make at that time. It is important that each member-owner turn in just one survey to maintain data integrity.

If you're wondering about the results of last year's survey, below are some of the highlights:

1. Overall satisfaction with the Co-op is very high: 56 percent of respondents are very satisfied and 40 percent are satisfied with GreenStar.

2. The two most common reasons that member-owners join GreenStar are to support a community business (97 percent) and to support local products (93 percent). Supporting the conservation of our environment is the next most frequently stated reason for joining (75 percent), followed by "the Co-op economic model matches my values" (70 percent). Member discounts were indicated by 67 percent of respondents as a reason for joining.

Read more: It's Time for the Annual Member-Owner Survey


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