Frequently Asked Questions (en español aquí)
The mission of the Westwood Food Cooperative (WFC) is to connect families, culture, and community through authentic foods. We are working towards opening a full-service grocery store in the Westwood neighborhood. This grocery store will be owned and operated by the community – by its member-owners!
What is a cooperative?
A cooperative, or co-op for short, is a business that is owned by, and exists for the benefit of, its members. Member-owners vote on key business decisions, enjoy access to member-only rewards, and receive a share of the profits each year, also known as a dividend. For example, REI is a member-owned cooperative.
Do I have to be a member-owner to shop at the WFC?
No! Anyone will be welcome to shop in the grocery store, but only member-owners enjoy the full benefits of the co-op.
What is the difference between Re:Vision and the WFC?
Re:Vision is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating in Westwood and the surrounding neighborhoods. It is helping to incubate the WFC to make sure it has as few barriers as possible to success. The WFC is a for-profit, community-owned grocery store in-the-making and it will occupy a property and building owned by Re:Vision at 3738 Morrison Rd, Denver, 80219.
Who can join the WFC?
Anyone & everyone!
How much does a membership cost?
Individuals can become member-owners of the co-op for either $40 (annually), or $200 (lifetime!). We do accept payment plans if needed, for the lifetime memberships. Its important to note that the annual membership makes you an owner the day you purchase it, but your membership won’t expire until a year after the store opens.
What do I get with my membership?
In addition to the joy you get from helping bring healthy food access to our neighborhood, you are leaving a legacy for generations to come. You will also receive member discounts at the store (once it opens), a percentage of business profits (see below), and a vote for the board of directors. Without you this vision won’t happen – so be the change you want to see and join today!
Who gets the profits?
Members! Each year, the co-op board of directors (elected by the member-owners!) will decide how much of the profit (if there is profit!) to distribute to the member-owners and how much the co-op needs to reinvest – for instance in purchasing a new cooler, or perhaps in a store expansion. The amount to be distributed to member-owners is distributed based on their patronage of the store.
Why should I become a member now? Why not wait until the Co-op opens?
We can’t open the co-op without member-owners. In fact, we need about 1,200 members in order to fund and ensure the success of the co-op. So if a grocery store is something you want to see in the neighborhood, become a member today!
When will the WFC open?
That all depends on you! The WFC hopes to open in 2018, but before we can do that we need about 1,200 member-owners. That’s why we need you to become a member today! The faster we get members, the faster we can open.
What kind of food will the WFC sell?
The WFC will be a full-service grocery store that caters to the immediate community. The product mix will be affordable, culturally appropriate, and largely conventional.
What happens if the WFC goes out of business?
As with any start-up business, the Westwood Food Co-op could fail. If this happens, each member-owner would most likely lose their member dues. However, thanks to state statute, which considers co-ops similarly to LLCs, individual member-owners would not be held accountable to any of the co-op’s debts. So, long story short, by becoming a member-owner, you are taking a risk with us - but that is the beauty of this structure - the risk is spread over many member-owners, indeed, across an entire community. Without you taking the risk with us, this dream won’t become a reality.