Hello Co-operator is a series in which we meet members of the Philadelphia co-op community.
What is your experience with cooperatives?
My experiences with cooperatives mostly involves being a part of food coops. Growing up in Virginia, my mom ran a buying club , and in college I joined the food coop in Greensboro, NC. When I moved to Philadelphia I joined Mariposa Food Co-op and now I work for the non-profit part of Weavers Way Co-op, Weaver’s Way Community Programs.
How would you describe the difference between a food co-op and a conventional grocery store?
I believe the main difference between a co-op and a conventional grocery store is the fact that as a member of the co-op you actually have a say in what your co-op sells and you can find out exactly where your food comes from and who grows it.
How can we spread the cooperative movement?
I think we can spread the cooperative movement by educating people about the value of healthy food and by lowering the price of that food. I believe money really hinders many people from joining the co-op because the food is so expensive. I think people really need to prioritize food over other material items but I also believe that food should be more affordable and culturally appropriate.
Apart from food co-ops, are you currently or do you see yourself getting involved in co-ops in other sectors?