Here are the top 10 frequently asked Elk River Area Food Co-op questions with short answers. If you'd like more information, go to our FAQ page for fuller descriptions. If you don't see what you're looking for, e-mail us at

What is a food co-op?
The Elk River Area Food Co-op is member owned and directed grocery store that operates for the mutual benefit of the owners and the community at large. A food co-op is democratically run business resulting in a powerful economic force that benefits all those involved. We are dedicated to supporting local as often as possible and holding our products to the highest standard.

What will the co-op sell?
That also depends on what our members want. We envision creating a full scale grocery store that sells the highest quality produce, meat, bulk items and so much more. We want to become a one-stop-shop for all your health and wellness needs. We plan on being more than a grocery store and would like to create a meeting space and resource center where the community can come learn through classes and demonstrations, building health education and awareness.

Is this a buying club or CSA?
No, this will be a physical grocery store. Open daily, all year round.

Where is the co-op located?
 The Elk River Area Food Co-op is a start-up cooperative. Currently do not have a brick and mortar location, we are in the Membership Drive Phase. Once we hit around 600 member-owners things will start to get rolling physically. In order for the co-op to open we need to build our membership base for the start up capital and funding it takes to design and implement a storefront. We need to know our community believes in the co-op vision and values, therefore the only way for this dream to become a reality is for YOU to become a member-owner and spread the word!

When will the co-op open?
Well, that’s up to you! Join now, and bring your friends, family, and neighbors along for the ride. We’re as anxious as you to see our store open! However, in order for that to happen we need members. We need roughly 600-800 members to start looking at possible location selection. Our goal is to reach 1,000+ owners before the store operates. Having a committed member base proves to us, and our lenders, that the community supports our vision and efforts. We are building this one member at a time, and it might take a little longer, but we know and understand that good things take time.

Why would I invest in the co-op without a physical store present?
What is faith without action? The only way for a store to become a reality is to have a little faith and to put in a little action. By becoming a member you are putting us that much closer to opening a store front. Your commitment and trust proves that having a co-op is important to you and your community. Your investment provides us with the start-up capital needed to design and implement a physical store.

What does it cost to become a member?
You invest ONCE. There are no annual fees or hidden costs. A house-hold membership only costs $100.00. As soon as you register you begin to benefit from a handful of discounts.

Who can shop at the co-op?
When we have established our member base and have a physical store, anyone can shop! The co-op will not be exclusive. It will be a convenient place for anyone and everyone to pick up their healthy, sustainable raised goods. Though it is our members who reap the most benefits!

If anyone can shop at the store, why should I pay to become an owner?
By becoming a member you are investing in a community operated business, you are an owner. Everyone can shop at a co-op. However, without committed owner-members, there can’t be a co-op. The equity from purchased membership is what keeps us moving forward, it’s building that trust and faith in the co-op vision. A vision rooted in health education and awareness, ethically-just and sustainably produced products, and a desire to strengthen our local economies and communities. If everyone sat back and waited for the store to open, the Elk River Area Food Co-op would never come to fruition. Ask yourself, what is faith without action?

If the store isn’t open, how can I benefit?
Currently we have a handful of partnerships in which you gain benefits while supporting local, small business. As a member you also get special pricing for our community classes. Not to mention the peace of mind you gain in supporting local farmers, sustainable agriculture, community involvement, democratic ownership, along with health education and awareness.


Member Benefits