Laugh if you want but my food coop is badass. We have 16,000 members working cooperatively to run a store based on good politics, good value and great food. We members of the Park Slope Food Coop all work a two and a half hour shift every four weeks and with the help of our paid staff we run the coop. We are a model for cooperation and sustainability.
The coop has its share of critics. There are people who think there are too many rules and find it punitive. There are only two rules I'm aware of. One is to show up for your assigned shift, or at least call and let them know you're not coming. That seems reasonable considering we're trying to run a store. If you don't call in you have to do a second make-up shift. This is also reasonable - there has to be a deterrent to not showing up or finding someone to cover your shift. The other rule is don't shop in line. That just seems like common courtesy.
Every time someone from The New York Times writes about us they always make fun of our organic food and "all of those rules" and the way we check out or the long lines. Every article is the same, let's make fun of the vegan hippies. I'm waiting for someone to write an article about what a miracle it is that 16,000 people can work cooperatively to provide ourselves with sustainable organic food at reasonable prices. There's the real story.
Poet and playwrite Pat Smith
was kind enough to invite me to be interviewed, I'm chuffed by his kind words. Check out page four of the March 5th, 2015 Linewaiter's Gazette
to read the full article.