Why You Should Become a Co-Op Member

We might be biased, but we think that shopping at local businesses is more fulfilling than shopping at big box stores. You get to interact with local employees who are knowledgeable and passionate about what they sell and do and you get to support your local economy! 

Our Denver Co-Op offers a lot — a local grocery store, a yoga studio, bodywork and massage therapy and an event space. We really do have something for everyone. One of the best ways to explore our space is by becoming a member – you get exclusive access to perks and benefits. Plus, you get to feel good about supporting local and organizations/businesses working to make a difference and to empower people. 

Many people still don’t know that we offer memberships or even what a Co-Op membership is, so we wanted to take the time to explain some of the benefits of becoming a Co-Op member and why you should consider joining ours! 

First, we thought we’d mention the seven cooperative principles. 

We actively work towards making each of these principles a forefront of our organization, so we think our membership program is the perfect fit for almost every customer. But, of course, each customer gets to decide whether or not they want to join, and if they do, they get to determine

the capacity they’d like to be involved. And each member can rest assured that just by being a member, they are supporting over several local businesses outside of our own! 

Now, let’s chat about additional reasons about benefits that you might receive from becoming a member of a local cooperative (hopefully ours!)

1) Cooperatives are structured around member success – they are not exclusively for-profit organizations

Cooperatives, or what we like to call Co-Ops, are not structured strictly as for-profit entities. Many of them, like ours, are made initially to be vehicles of change within the community. Well-known Co-Ops include REI whose focus is on creating sustainable adventures outdoors while maintaining our environment. 

Our mission is all about health and wellness. For example, we want to bring healthy, nutritious, and affordable food to communities that might otherwise not have access to it. We want to empower our members by giving them access to the farmers and producers providing their food. We also emphasize creating your own food source through urban gardens, which is why we partner with Jovial Concepts on their Garden series.   

2) Members have access to exclusive events like dedicated shopping days and member appreciation events

One of the best benefits of being a member is the exclusive event opportunities you get access to! For example, all of our members get access to “members-only” shopping days and invites to all of our member meetings. In addition, we will be throwing an annual member appreciation party, which will have delicious food and drink for all of our members – alongside great entertainment. 

3) Supporting cooperatives helps support many parts of the local economy

When you shop or participate in a local cooperative, you aren’t just supporting that business. Almost every cooperative, including ours, partners with many local companies across the city and state to create a symbiotic relationship that benefits all parties. For example, much of our produce is sourced from local farmers and producers, so when you buy from us, we get to turn around and place another order with them! 

Or, if you think about it from a high-level perspective, shopping at a local cooperative like ours keeps more money in your local economy. Between tax dollars and fair employee compensation, your dollars get stretched further and have more impact when spent locally.

4) Cooperative members often receive benefits like discounts and education opportunities

Every membership should come with some perks, and a membership to a cooperative like ours is no different! Each of our members gets discounts on every purchase they make in our store and deals on our yoga classes. That, combined with the ability to truly participate in an organization, make a Co-Op membership more than worth it. 

We have also recently introduced an education series, where we have professionals creating content around everyday tasks that are helpful to know how to do like dicing an onion! 

5) Cooperatives are an easy way to find a new community or get involved in your current one

Shopping at local stores is always a great experience because it’s more intimate than you might get at a big box store. The chances of a Co-Op employee recognizing you after your second visit are very high – we like to pay attention to things like that. When you shop at a cooperative, you get a sense of community that is hard to find at other stores. 

Whether it’s chatting up Danny, who is almost always in the store or running into that neighbor you keep passing on the street – cooperatives offer unique opportunities to connect and become more involved in your community. 


To us, the list of reasons to become a member of our Co-Op goes on and on, and we hope this helps you understand some of the benefits you might receive and what you can expect after signing up to be a member of a cooperative. 

If you are interested in joining our membership program, you can register online or head into the store for some additional help! 

co-op employees

Why Shopping Local Matters

Small businesses often start as a great idea or lifelong dream, which is a feel-good reason to support a local company. However, those reasons don’t always win in the debate between a small business or a big-box store, which is why we wanted to answer the popular question, “Why should I shop local?”

We get it; sometimes, you can find a cheaper product at a big-box store, but your local community hardly sees those dollars. However, 25% more of that spending will recirculate back into your local community when you shop at a local shop versus a big-box store. 

shop local

That’s why we wanted to compile this list of reasons why you should consider shopping locally. This is not a comprehensive list, but it will give you an idea of some of the extensive benefits of a slight change in action. 

1) Reduces Carbon Footprint

Traveling to local businesses requires less time, energy and resources, including fuel for our vehicles or local transportation. If you’re lucky, you might have some local businesses within walking distance. For example, residents in the Barnum neighborhood can access our local grocery store on foot, depending on where they live. In Colorado, chances are you have at least one, if not a few, local businesses within a mile of your home. These can include mom-and-pop gas stations, liquor stores, grocery stores, boutiques, etc. 

Choosing these stores over a big-box store that might be a few miles away will help you reduce your overall carbon footprint and more significantly than you might think. Plus, if you have stores within walking distance, it’s always nice to get some of that fresh Colorado air. 

carbon footprint

2) Supports The Local Economy 

We already hinted at this–shopping local boosts your city and state economy. First, many small businesses like to buy from other small businesses, which means that supporting one company can lead to helping a few. For example, we source our chickens from local farmers and families, which means that the money you spend with us then gets spent with them. 

Another way shopping locally supports your economy is to create jobs in your city. These jobs are often very desirable because many small businesses like ours prioritize employee well-being to create a stable company environment. 

co-op employees

3) Exceptional Customer Service 

Big-box stores aren’t entirely passionate about the products they sell. With that many products, it’s hard even to know them all. Small business provides a more intimate experience because they are generally quite familiar with their products and mission. Also, small companies tend to carry smaller inventory which allows them to become experts about what they sell. 

With that in mind, if you are eager to learn more about living a healthier lifestyle through locally sourced products, then we would love to hear from you!

fresh produce denver

4) More Diverse Selection 

Have you ever gone to a Safeway, then a King Soopers, looking for a new product (like hot sauce) only to find that they both carry the same brands? That’s one of the downsides of big-box stores and one of the reasons that shopping local can be more exciting. 

Our store curates a specific selection of vendors to ensure that we are offering unique and exciting brands aligned with our mission. You won’t find our locally grown mushrooms or handmade jewelry at bigger stores. 

bjorns honey

5) Non-Profit Support

Many people, ourselves included, often express a desire to donate more to different non-profits, but we don’t always know where to start (or have the time). One of the benefits of shopping local is that many support non-profits, either through partnerships like ours with Jovial Concepts or by donating a portion of profits to the organization.  

Supporting local businesses that have these non-profit partnerships structured into their business is a quick and easy way to begin investing in more local non-profits. If you are unsure if a company supports a non-profit, you may always ask! 

jovial concepts garden

6) Create Character in Your Community

Having unique businesses like a brunch spot or a co-op grocery store can often draw people from other communities or even states to visit. Creating character in a community starts with supporting local businesses and artists to do what they do best and innovate. Denver has become a food and drink destination for a reason. People from everywhere travel to try unique offerings like our friends at Raices Brewing

raices brewing
Kevin J. Beaty Denverite

Supporting these businesses will create more companies eager to find the next trend.

7) Better Public Services/Conserve Tax Dollars 

The last benefit we want to mention is what shopping local can do for you, your neighbors and your state. Tired of hitting that pothole on your way to work? Shopping local will put business taxes back into your government’s resources to fix those types of issues. These dollars can also 

support public transportation, neighborhoods, infrastructure maintenance and parks. We love this because it’s a tangible way to see the benefits of shopping local. Sure, you won’t be able to say that *your* dollars at our grocery store fixed that pothole, but you can rest easy knowing that our dollars and yours are going directly back into making our community better. 

We hope this article gives you some motivation to skip your next big-box store run and choose a local grocery store or boutique instead. Please share this article with your friends on social media if you found it helpful!

Co-op Offers Fresh Produce at Wholesale Prices