We are a member-owned, community marketplace that creates and embraces abundance, balance, and diversity through investment in the local food system.
The mission of the Paso Food Co-op is to build a thriving community by maximizing abundance, access, and affordability of fresh, healthy, and local food. We foster dynamic opportunities and positive solutions through celebration, cooperation, education, and interaction.
It is our intention to:
Create a reliable, trusted, and welcoming space for community interaction, celebration, information exchange, and a dynamic local food experience
Embrace opportunities for education, learning, and growth
Provide an accessible and affordable marketplace to a diverse population
Operate with fairness and integrity
Foster community resilience by connecting consumers & producers
Cultivate responsible stewardship of resources
Promote health and wellness
Build collaboration and cooperation among members, stakeholders, and the community
What is the Paso Robles Food Cooperative? The Paso Robles Food Cooperative is a recently begun effort to start a community supported food market in Paso Robles. The market will use a ‘cooperative’ business model (hence the term ‘co-op’) that’s been around for over a century. Because the project is still in the stages of organizing and planning, there’s lots of room for creativity in determining what it will finally look like. What the co-op will look like depends on what the community wants and can support–currently it could be anything from a simple grocery store, to a full-blown food hub with gardens, a commercial kitchen, a cafe, and more! Click here: (Support Us!) to see how you can get involved and support our efforts.
Who are the people behind the co-op? The co-op is currently in the organizing and planning stages of development, hence we depend on the efforts and support of community volunteers to make all decisions, do business planning, grant writing, and develop plans: About Us Let us know if you want to join our forces: Volunteer
What is a member-owner? By filling out the Membership application, paying your membership fee and remaining in good standing, you become an owner of the cooperative along with other members. See below for more about The Benefits of Becoming a Member-Owner. Click here to become a Member-Owner: Become a Member-Owner
What are the benefits of becoming a member-owner? There are three main benefits to being a member-owner of the co-op: Business Ownership, Community Support, The Best Local Food
The co-op will empower you as a business owner: + you can choose your level of involvement in its operation, from simply shopping there to becoming a board member. + you will be one among a diverse population of owners, each having an equal stake in the business regardless of how much you spend at the store. + you will benefit from access to store amenities, in accordance with in-store policies and procedures (i.e. time in the commercial kitchen, seats at cooking demonstrations) + you will benefit from a member dividend/profit share rebate, once the store is profitable. The co-op will support farmers and the community by providing a consistent, daily market in which to sell or purchase local produce and products. We will feature information on local farmers and artisans. The co-op will support the availability of low-cost, local, heathy food. By purchasing in bulk, co-ops get the best rates on healthy foods. In addition, members may be eligible for purchase discounts and/or end of year rebates. The store will be convenient and reliable, and it will be stocked with everything you need to supply your household – from cleaning supplies and paper products to milk, eggs, and bread.
How much does a membership cost? A full membership at the co-op is $300. The entire cost is refundable. Every member will make an equal financial investment and have an equal vote in the business. Payment plans are available on request so that the $300 membership fee can be paid over a period of time instead of all at once. Eventually, we hope to have Income-Based Assistance to provide access to fresh, healthy, local food for all. How are memberships, pledges and donations spent?At this stage in our development, we are pursuing grants to help us achieve our goal of a brick and mortar store in Paso Robles. The more members that have invested their money into the co-op, the more likely we are to receive grant funding. We will use grant funds and membership funds to produce pamphlets and promotional materials about our co-op, to open a business bank account, to conduct a feasibility study that will help us to organize the business and position it for long-term success and viability. Ultimately, co-op member-owners have a great deal of say in deciding how the co-op income is spent.
What is the Membership Pledge? We are now accepting pledge memberships. With a $50 downpayment, you pledge to pay the remaining $250 once we have received 200 pledges/members (installment plans available upon request). Click here to take the pledge: Pledge to Become a Member-Owner