Co-Ops compared to Grocery stores

What is a co-op?

A co-op is a non-profit organization composed of a group of individuals (or organizations) formed for their mutual benefit, generally financial. (See Wikipedia for more details.)

They typically are democratic, volunteer associations. Being created for a specific public benefit, they are non-profit and return any profits back to the members/owners.

They include credit unions, mutual insurance companies, housing co-ops, rural electric power co-ops, consumer goods co-ops (like REI), distribution coops (like Ace Hardware) and producer co-ops (like Sunkist, Land’O Lakes).

Sources: coopdirectory.org and a Maine Biz story, March 2014, and a current directory from Cooperative Maine.

MaineBiz wrote an article comparing Co-Ops to conventional grocery stores. One comparison chart stands out:

co-ops compared to grocery stores

Maine has a growing number of co-ops, 158 as of today according to http://maine.find.coop/

and 16 specifically food-based co-ops:

Barrels Community Market Waterville barrelsmarket.com
Belfast Co-op Belfast belfast.coop
Blue Hill Co-op Community Market & Café Blue Hill bluehill.coop
Eat Local Eastport Co-op Eastport eatlocaleastport.com
Fare Share Market Norway faresharecoop.org
Gardiner Food Co-op Gardiner klfi.org/the-gardiner-food-co-op
Good Tern Natural Foods Co-op Rockland goodtern.com
Island Employee Cooperative Deer Isle, Stonington burntcove.com
Market Street Co-op Fort Kent marketstreetcoop.net
Marsh River Cooperative Brooks marshrivercoop.org
Portland Food Co-op Portland portlandfood.coop
Rising Tide Community Market Damariscotta risingtide.coop
Rosemont Market & Bakery Portland rosemontmarket.com/
Royal River Natural Foods Freeport rrnf.com/
Stone Soup Artisans Saco stonesoupartisans.com
The County Co-op and Farm Store Houlton fb.me/TheCountyCoopandFarmStore

We here at Make/Grow Local aim to serve all the co-ops in Maine and beyond!

Let us know if any are missing from this list. Updated March 1, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *