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



October is Co-op Month and Fair Trade Month!

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

plucking-tea-korakundah-indiaJoin us at the Fall Member Meeting for a Fair Trade presentation by our Bulk Manager, dinner, presentations, and more.

Annual Fall Member Meeting, Friday, Oct. 18, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

We have an exciting presentation planned for our annual Fall Member Meeting in celebration of October Fair Trade Month. GreenStar's Bulk Manager, Joe Damiano, will be sharing his recent experience visiting a number of Fair Trade farms in Peru (which he also discusses on page 1 of this issue). In recognition of GreenStar's commitment to fairly traded products, Joe was invited by Equal Exchange to spend three weeks in Peru to learn more about the practices of Fair Trade farmers and to see, firsthand, how Fair Trade makes a difference in the lives of the farmers and their workers and communities. According to Joe, it was an incredible experience that has made him even more committed to supporting fairly traded products than he was before (and believe me, he had no shortage of commitment prior to the trip!). Joe is delighted to have the opportunity to discuss his incredible journey with our membership at this year's fall meeting.

We also have an important member-owner vote this month for a bylaws change that would allow equity to be refunded when a membership is relinquished. During the fall meeting, pro and con statements will be presented, and a discussion will follow for member-owners to ask questions and share their thoughts about the proposed change.

Please note the relocation of our annual meeting to St. Paul's United Methodist Church at the corner of Court and Aurora Streets. We've changed the venue because of the current renovation of our warehouse facilities, where we're creating a central kitchen and an improved community space for member-owner and other events.

Member-Owner Forum & Open Mic, Monday, Oct. 7
, West-End Store Meeting Room, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Our annual fall member-owner forum provides member-owners an ample opportunity to ask questions and share ideas, thoughts, and concerns with Council and other member-owners. This year's forum will also allow member-owners to discuss the October vote on the proposed bylaws change for refundable equity.

Kids' Halloween Party, Friday, Oct. 25
Outdoor Eating Area of the West-End store, 8 pm

Last year's party was such a success, we're offering a similar evening of 
Halloween-oriented games and activities in the outdoor eating area of the West-End store this year. This year's theme will be The Wizard of Oz. Children can express their ghoulish creativity while decorating Halloween cookies with fiendishly healthy toppings. After a trick-and-treat journey through the store (which will start sometime between 6:45 and 7 pm), we'll sit back and enjoy the Halloween classic It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Celebrating of October as Co-op Month

While I don't usually promote products in this column, this month there's something particularly special at the registers — the "I Shop at the Co-op because ..." reusable shopping bags. The graphics on the bag depict the results of a critical study commissioned by the National Cooperative Grocers Association — Healthy Foods, Healthy Communities: The Social and Economic Impacts of Food Co-ops. The study quantifies the impact food co-ops have compared to conventional grocery stores.1 Using the bag not only saves our environment from countless single-use plastic bags, it also helps to raise awareness about the significant impact of food cooperatives in this world.

On the same note, don't forget to check out the Art Board in the children's play area this month. On display are several boards that highlight the cooperative model. The boards, which will change mid-month, feature maps of local, regional, and international co-ops and highlight how cooperatives bring social, economic, and environmental benefits to their member-owners and communities.

1 For more information about this study, go to http://strongertogether.coop/

Current Job Postings

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    The future will be determined in part by happenings that it is impossible to foresee; it will also be influenced by trends that are now existent and observable … Those who are rooted in the depths that are eternal and unchangeable and who rely on unshakeable principles, face change full of courage, courage based on faith.

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