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



A Partnership in Bloom: FLOWER and Ithaca Community Harvest

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 14:46

By Alexis Alexander,

Membership Manager

Shortly after GreenStar introduced the low-income discount FLOWER program in late September, I met with Liz Karabinakis, Program Coordinator of GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), our non-profit affiliate. Our intention was to discuss GreenStar’s current support of GSCP and the Ithaca Community Harvest Project through our Member Labor program, and, separately, to discuss how GSCP could support the FLOWER program. What ensued was an exciting realization — that the goals of the FLOWER program and Ithaca Community Harvest went hand in hand, and that the synergy between them could further enhance our efforts to bring wholesome, natural food to more people within our community, including low-income individuals. 

Ithaca Community Harvest is an awesome new program that provides volunteer labor on local farms in exchange for the farms’ surplus produce. The surplus is then distributed to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School (BJM) and the after-school snack and meal programs at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) and the Southside Community Center (SSCC). Ithaca Community Harvest is a collaborative effort of the Village at Ithaca with the support of GSCP and the Ithaca City School District, and in cooperation with Gardens4Humanity, Healthy Food for All and the Whole Community Project of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. This spring, the GSCP Board of Directors decided to make Ithaca Community Harvest their primary focus since the goals of the program so directly reflect GSCP’s mission to promote food justice and regional food sustainability.

Read more: A Partnership in Bloom: FLOWER and Ithaca Community Harvest


The Seven Cooperative Principles: Part 2

Tuesday, 02 November 2010 13:20

By Alexis Alexander,
Membership Manager

This month we’ll complete our review of the seven Cooperative Principles. These principles are central to the operations of co-ops worldwide, and help highlight the difference between values-driven cooperatives and profit-driven corporations.

Principle #4: Autonomy & Independence. Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations that enter into agreements with other organizations in ways that maintain the co-op’s independence and democratic control by the members.

Read more: The Seven Cooperative Principles: Part 2

GreenStar Membership-More Than Just a Discount!

Friday, 03 September 2010 15:04

By Alexis Alexander,
Membership Manager

September seems an appropriate time to remind ourselves exactly what it means to be a member-owner of GreenStar. September is when our community experiences a significant influx of new college students who are eager to become part of the Ithaca community. Many may think that GreenStar is just another grocery store. But as GreenStar member-owners, we know our two stores are much more than that. So what can we say to new folks in town (or anyone for that matter) who aren’t aware of what GreenStar really is?

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 benefit that GreenStar provides its member-owners is access to wholesome, natural food and quality products at the lowest practical price. We do this in a way that exercises ecological responsibility, fair treatment of employees, promotion of local farmers and products, and good community stewardship. We also operate in a way that keeps our resources and profits in the local community.

Read more: GreenStar Membership-More Than Just a Discount!


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Current Job Postings

  •  By Meaghan Sheehan Rosen

    fdn.newlogoOn any given day, 364 days a year, dedicated volunteers in and around Ithaca visit numerous local food outlets and producers. They fill their cars with nutritious food and deliver it within hours to food pantries and other sites and programs nourishing local people in need. During August, GreenStar members have a special opportunity to support this effort, which is the work of Friendship Donations N...



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