Food Coops

Ben Sandel, Coop Consultant

"From Living Room Conversations to Retail Store: Food Co-op Development in a Nutshell."

Regional Distribution Solutions

Angelic Organics Learning Center

Food Hub Collaboration study co-leads:

James Barham, USDA AMS and

John Fisk, Wallace Center at Winrock International

Kate Collier, Local Food Hub, Virginia

Dan Carmody, Eastern Market, Detroit

What Does it Take to Start a Food Co-op?
Starting a co-op is just as complex and time-consuming as starting any business, and will require thorough and careful business planning.

New co-op development
progresses through the following steps:

  • Gather background information
  • Assess community interest
  • Incorporate
  • Organize within the community
  • Recruit owners
  • Research feasibility
  • Create a formal business plan
  • Plan for financing
  • Select a site
  • Secure financing
  • Prepare for opening
  • Begin operations

Some steps, such as recruiting owners, will continue up to and beyond opening the store.

Farmer Alliance