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Ownership

Ownership

Become an owner because you are passionate about the food you eat and the community in which you live.  Ownership Application

From the beginning Food Front has been more than a food store. We are a community of diverse owners who care deeply about the food we eat and the world in which we live. We link local business and non-profit organizations, as well as fair trade producers from around the world. Be a part of a community that cares and become an owner today.

The difference owners make
By purchasing a share, you become an equal owner of Food Front and join with over 7500 owners in providing the capital that allows the co-op to exist.

You are also investing in your neighborhood grocery store as well as helping to build the local economy and a socially responsible food system.
OwnershipBenefits

While anyone can shop at Food Front, our owners receive many additional perks.

As an owner your voice counts!
At Food Front, we value and welcome everyone’s feedback. As an owner, you can also help set our long-range goals by electing the board of directors, serving on the board and voting on referenda.

As an owner, you will also receive:

  5-10% discount during Owner Appreciation Festivals, four times a year
  Monthly Owner Specials
  Patronage dividends when the store is profitable-the more you shop, the more you get back
  10% discount on special order cases
  Front Lines newsletter
  Check cashing privileges


Frequently asked questions about becoming a Food Front owner

If you’ve just joined or are thinking about becoming an owner you may have some questions! Find answers below or email: ownership@foodfront.coop.

How much is it to become an owner?
The cost of an owner share is $150. Payment can be made in full or you can make an initial payment of just $5 with monthly payments of $5 or more until you reach $150. Either way, your ownership starts immediately. When we are doing an expansion, such as the Hillsdale store, we encourage people to pay the full share if they are able, as it reduces the amount we have to borrow to finance the project.

Do other members of my household need to become owners too?
No, co-op ownership is valid for your entire household and you can get additional cards for them too. However, the ownership is officially in just one person’s name (as indicated on the application form) and this is especially important when it comes to running for (or voting for) the board of directors. Also, patronage dividends will be made out to the main name on the account.

Do I have to be an owner to shop at Food Front?
At Food Front everyone is welcome! Anyone can shop and everyone is invited to become an Owner. Find out more about how to become an owner.

How is buying an ownership different from buying a membership at stores like Costco?
First, what defines is co-op is that a lot of people put a small amount of money together to create something that serves them and their community—such as a food store.

Co-op owners make equity payments rather than paying annual dues. Equity is a form of investment in a co-op’s future. Equity deposits, like dues, are money that an owner pays to the co-op. However, equity differs from dues in two important ways. First, dues collected for memberships to places like Costco are considered taxable income, but equity deposits and all profits earned in sales from owners of the co-op are tax-free, and are effectively worth more to the co-op. Second, when a person chooses to end their co-op ownership, his/her equity deposits are fully refundable. Owners also receive patronage dividends on profits earned by the co-op.

What is a patronage dividend?
Patronage dividends are allocated to the owners of Food Front when the co-op has a surplus (profit after paying operating expenses). As an owner, you receive a patronage dividend based on how much you shopped in the last fiscal year. The sales total for each owner transaction is automatically recorded at the register when you scan your membership card. That’s why it’s important that you bring your card when you shop. We can also look up your owner number by last name.

What if I terminate my ownership? Will I still get my patronage dividend?
Yes, your patronage dividend will reflect the purchases you made until your termination date. Retains will continued to be paid for previous years as they are allocated. Just make sure we have your updated mailing address!

If I become an owner, do I have to work in the store?
No, owners do not need to work in the store.

I’m interested in volunteering. Where can I find out more about volunteer opportunities?
For more information on current volunteer opportunities contact Community Outreach Services at (503) 222-5658 Ext. 133 or email outreach@foodfront.coop.

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