Cooperative Principles and Ends Policies
- BFC Cooperative Principles
Consumer co-ops trace their origins over 150 years ago back to a small store in Rochdale, England. Those co-op pioneers developed the original ideals for cooperatives. Today co-ops around the world, including ours, are guided by seven principles based on those original ideals.
- BFC Ends Policies
Ends policies are governance policies, reflecting shareholder values and formulated by the Co-op’s Board of Directors. Ends policies state the purposes of the Brattleboro Food Co-op: What we are trying to accomplish, for whom, and at what cost.
What’s a Co-op?
Cooperatives are member-owned, member-governed businesses that operate for the benefit of their members according to common principles agreed upon by the international cooperative community. In co-ops, members pool resources to bring about economic results that are unobtainable by one person alone. Click to learn more…
History of our Co-op
The Brattleboro Food Co-op was formed in 1975 as a small buying club.
The current location opened for business in June 2012, and today, the Brattleboro Food Co-op occupies 14,580 square feet of a beautiful downtown anchor building in Brattleboro, Vermont.
This four-story building was a result of a collaboration with the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust and Housing Vermont, with many environmentally friendly features, including utilizing refrigeration waste heat to heat apartments and the store, solar panels on the roof, and much more. While the Co-op occupies the entire ground floor, the Co-op offices, commissary kitchen, cooking classroom, and community room are housed on the second floor. The rest of the building comprises some 24 apartments managed through Windham Housing.
The Co-op is a vital destination for shoppers who are interested in natural foods that are locally and ethically sourced from fresh local produce and meats to fair trade coffee. Aside from being a top-notch contemporary natural food market, the Co-op offers a large bulk department, a full-service deli and catering, fresh-cut meat and seafood, fresh local bread, local and organic fruit and vegetables, floral and plants, local and international cheeses, natural wellness products, housewares, a beer and wine department featuring local breweries, and an eat-in café.
A Welcoming Community Shopping Experience
The Brattleboro Food Co-op is community-owned, with over 9,000 shareholders, and our goal is to be as accessible and responsive to you as possible.
Shopping the Co-op is open to all! You do not have to be a shareholder to shop at the Co-op, and all of our sales are available to every customer.
In addition to the store, we offer a kids’ room (in the store), a community room for small events and meetings, and cooking classes, which are all available to everyone! The Co-op strives to be an inclusive community hub and is welcoming to every person who enters the store. The Co-op welcomes organizations to table (promote your org) at the Co-op and to join our team of Commitment to Community partners.
The Co-op is welcoming of customer feedback which may include requests for products not currently offered, among other things.
If you are not already a shareholder of the Brattleboro Food Co-op, you can purchase a single share at a one-time cost of $80. Programs are available to put as little as $20 toward your share and opt for an easy-to-budget payment plan. Shareholder work programs (2 hours per month), and shareholder elder plans, will give you a discount on purchases at the Co-op.
BFC is conveniently located in southeastern Vermont, just over the Massachusetts and New Hampshire borders. The surrounding community offers beautiful Vermont countryside, a lively cultural scene, and easy access to skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
Support for Community and Local Organizations
The Brattleboro Food Co-op supports the surrounding community in many ways.
- The Co-op has created a Commitment to Community program which partners with local not-for-profit agencies to offer an enriching shareholder work program that allows shareholders to do volunteer work which is rewarded with a discount on their purchases at the Co-op. Another way to get involved and connect with others in the community as a shareholder is through TWO (TeamWork Opportunities), which is another shareholder work program for local projects.
- The Co-op has been offering customers to “Round Up” their change for change in the community and has jointly raised thousands of dollars since the program’s inception.
Community Room Rental
- The Co-op offers the BFC Community Room to the community for small parties and events, or for meetings and presentations. This benefit is available to shareholders at no cost, and to non-shareholders at a nominal fee. The occupancy limit is 25 people.
- To reserve the Community Room, or for more information, please contact Shareholder Services at 802-246-2821 or via email at Shareholders@BFC.coop.
Tabling at the Co-op
- The Co-op offers local not-for-profit organizations (with no religious or political affiliation), the opportunity to promote their services, events, and programs at no charge by “tabling” at the Co-op.
- To reserve a time slot, please contact Shareholder Services at 802-246-2821 or via email at Shareholders@BFC.coop.
- Please download, review, and sign our Tabling Policies, and returning to the Co-op prior to your scheduled tabling date.
Classes at the Co-op
- The Co-op offers the community many free classes and events for kids and adults. Please check out the Event Calendar for a current schedule.