Member-Owner FAQ

What is the Monadnock Food Co-op?

Our co-op is a store that offers local, organic and natural food that exists to serve its members – who are also the owners. That means that in addition to getting the products and services you need, you also have a say in the co-op’s business decisions by voting for who serves on our Board of Directors, any changes in the co-op’s By Laws and providing your feedback and suggestions to improve the store. During years that our co-op is profitable, the Board of Directors will also issue patronage refunds to Member-Owners on a portion of the profits made from their shopping.

Is the $200 Member-Owner Investment made annually?

No, it is not an annual investment. This $200 is what the board feels it currently needs from each of its Member-Owners to capitalize the business. Some co-ops do change their Member-Owner Investment over time, as the business’ needs change. Become a Member-Owner today!

Once I join, will I be required to work?

Our Co-op has no work requirement, so you will be able to freely shop at MFC without any other obligations.

What are the values & benefits of co-op ownership at MFC?

The real value of co-op ownership is that we will have a co-op store to shop at! Together, we support the local farmers in our region by offering a year-round, stable market for their products. We also create a community gathering place where residents of the Monadnock Region can learn more about nutrition & healthy living. More tangibly, members receive quarterly member-only coupons and a vote to choose the Board of Directors.  Lastly, rather than rewarding outside investors with its profits, our co-op returns surplus revenue to our owners in proportion to how much you use the co-op, in years that MFC is financially able to do so. Cooperatives keep money, jobs and profits in the local economy.

Do you offer discounts?

We do offer sales prices for all everyday! Also, if you place a special order, Member-Owners get 10% off on a case or full bulk bag and non-members get 5% off.  Twice a year we hold Truckload Sales where all customers can pre-order cases of product at deep discounts. If you are a low income shopper who receives SNAP, SSI, WIC benefits or assistance from The Community Kitchen in Keene, you may also apply for our Healthy Food For All program. Visit the customer service desk for more information.

How do I join the Co-op?

Member-Ownership in the Monadnock Food Co-op is a one-time investment (not an annual fee!) of $200. When you become a member of the Monadnock Food Co-op, you become an owner of the store. With one member-ownership, your whole family (up to 3 household members) will receive Member-Owner Cards and benefits. Invest Now!

Can my business invest to become a Member-Owner?

Businesses can also invest in MFC. This option makes the most sense when the business itself anticipates making purchases from the store. During years in which MFC is profitable and able to issue a patronage refund, the refund would go to the business and would need to be treated as taxable income, unlike an individual membership used for household purchases.

By law only one person, whether it’s a business or an individual membership, would be the designated voting Member-Owner. The other two individuals in your household or business can still use your membership to redeem member-only coupons, but only you would legally be allowed to vote and only you would be sent said coupons and the Annual Report. Their purchases would also contribute towards your patronage refund, which all current Member-Owners will receive once the business has reached when the business is profitable.

What happens after I make the investment?

We process Co-op investments on a bi-weekly basis, and you should expect a Membership Confirmation letter in the mail within three weeks of when you joined.

If I move out of the area, what happens with my Co-op Membership?

You can offer your membership back to the Co-op as a permanent investment, or legally transfer your Member-Owner status to another person, with the investment in their name. If you prefer to get your investment back, MFC will purchase the investment from you if it does not hurt the financial integrity of the Co-op. If you choose to take any of these courses of action, please contact outreach@monadnockfood.coop.

Do I have to be a Member-Owner to shop at this co-op?

Not at all. Everyone can shop at our co-op, and everyone can take advantage of sales and Co+op Basics.

Where can I find more information?