Park Slope Food Co-op

A story on BBC news over the Christmas period caught our eye and got us thinking…

The BBC piece, which can be read here profiled a co-op in Brooklyn, New York named the Park Slope Food Co-op, which is one of the few food co-ops in the US that still has a member labour requirement.

This means members have to volunteer there if they want to shop there. Despite this being part of the original model for a co-operative, many US based co-ops don’t follow this any more. Members of Park Slope must carry out 2.75 hours of work every 4 weeks, jobs vary from working on  check-out to unloading deliveries and working in the office upstairs. Members feel that the co-op has bucked the trend of ruling out member labour requirements because of the keen sense of community around the area. Whilst other food co-ops became bigger and profitable, meaning they could pay employees, Park Slope’s members continued to do a sterling job so the need for paid staff wasn’t there.

Here in the UK, Food Co-ops are growing and growing. Food last counted 486 listed co-ops in the UK. We’ve listed just a few, but if you know of a great one, do leave a comment below.

Unicorn Grocery is a food co-op in Manchester which has been going since 1996, it started with just 4 members and now has around 50.

The People’s Supermarket in Bloomsbury, which was saved from closure after an online campaign in 2012. Members pay £25 annually and if they work for 4 hours a month, they get a 25% discount on all produce.

Community Food Co-ops run around 300 co-ops around Wales.

Glasgow University also runs a small food co-op where members can order online.

This entry was posted in London Food PR, London Restaurant PR, Spoon Blog 2014, Spoon Loves and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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