Becoming an Owner

Anyone can shop at the Co-op, and everyone is welcome to join. Your equity payments are an investment in your Co-op and are used as capital, assisting with store operations and improvements.

Becoming an Owner of a cooperative means, among other things, that you are making an investment in the Co-op, essentially becoming one of the owners of the business. At Willy Street Co-op, we call this investment your Fair Share and is defined as Ownership of Willy Street Co-op (with voting privileges). It is not a membership fee and it is used to support the cooperative. Benefits of Ownership begin after your first equity payment, regardless of which payment plan you choose, in full or by installments.

After you've made your first Fair Share payment, you can pick up your Owner card at the Customer Service desk.  Please be prepared to show your card or tell the cashier your Ownership number every time you shop.

Your Ownership will last as long as you want it to. If you leave you may withdraw your Fair Share from the Co-op and your original equity investment will be returned to you, minus any administrative fees paid. Contact a Customer Service representative to begin the refund process.

Remember: equity-paying members (Owners) collectively own the Willy Street Grocery Cooperative! 


Owner Rights and Benefits

As a Willy Street Co-op Owner, you can:

  1. Receive a Patronage Refund during years the Co-op is profitable (initiated in late 2009)
  2. Take advantage of Owner Rewards sales and sign up to receive the flyer by email
  3. Receive free tickets to our Annual Meeting & Party
  4. Get discounts on pre-ordered case purchases
  5. Special order items not regularly sold in the store
  6. Receive our monthly newsletter, the Reader, in the mail or sign up to receive it by email
  7. Receive a 5% discount on Reader advertising
  8. Participate in the organization by serving on committees or running for the Board of Directors
  9. Co-op reciprocity: When traveling you'll pay owner prices at most other retail food co-ops throughout the country by showing your Willy Street Co-op Owner card
  10. Save 5% every day (Owners pay shelf price; non-Owners pay 5% more)
  • Benefits are limited to Willy Street Co-op Owners only; purchase surcharges waived for customers with legitimate ownership cards from other existing food co-ops.