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"...we were on a natural rise in membership and then the economy took a nosedive and we just soared off the map."
- Park Slope Food Coop General Coordinator

For many in the United States over the last several decades, real wages have held steady or even declined. According to a study done by Pew Research in 2014 (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/10/09/for-most-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/), wages peaked in 1973, the year the Park Slope Food Coop opened.

It would seem that now more than ever, individuals and families could use a grocery store model with savings of 20-40% compared to a standard store.  The Park Slope Food Coop, one of the oldest and largest food coops in the United States offers such savings in return for mandatory work shifts.  Other coops have phased out the work requirement, and with it to varying degrees the cost savings for consumers. Why is it that shoppers will stand ten, twenty, thirty deep in line to shop at the Park Slope Food Coop? Please check out the links below to learn more.

A BROOKLYN STORY: THE PARK SLOPE FOOD CO-OP
(8 minute view)
Take a step inside the Park Slope Food Coop in this short video that interviews members and staff. Pay attention to the fact that there are people likely 20 plus deep waiting in line to pay.Why?
Grit TV| The Laura Flanders Show | 11 July 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rayQP2W3wg

THE RISE OF THE GROCERY CO-OP
(5 minute read)
It turns out that one of the most successful grocers around by some measures isn't really in it for the money.
The Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC), the largest consumer-owned single-store coop by sales in the U.S., had $39.4 million in sales during its last fiscal year, raking in more than $6,500 per square foot annually. "Anyone would salivate at that," says Ann Herpel, a general coordinator at PSFC. In our recent story on Trader Joe's we noted that the successful Monrovia, Calif.-based chain outdoes it competition with an average of $1,750 in sales per square foot, more than double those of Whole Foods.
Fortune |Beth Kowitt | 19 September 2010
http://archive.fortune.com/2010/09/16/news/companies/grocery_coop_Brooklyn.fortune/index.htm
 
GROCERY DOMESTIC PRODUCT: INSIDE THE PARK SLOPE COOP
(10 Minute Read)
The Park Slope Food Cooperative, a member-run grocery store nine blocks from my brownstone apartment building, is the antithesis of that supermarket. Founded in 1973 with a membership of 10, the Coop will have over 16,000 members on its 40th anniversary next year—every one of whom is required to work one shift at the Coop every four weeks. The penalty for missing that 2-hour-and-45-minute shift is two make-up shifts. The next strike results in suspension of membership.
The Common | James Boo | 1 November 2012 
https://www.thecommononline.org/grocery-domestic-product-inside-the-park-slope-coop/

FLUNKING OUT OF THE FOOD CO-OP
(12 Minute Read)
“You’re suspended,” the entrance worker at the Park Slope Food Coopannounced as I swiped my membership card. Some entrance workers speak softly, but not this one. Worse, there were a dozen other shoppers within earshot.
New York Times | Alana Joblin Ain | 23 October 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/nyregion/25coop.html

Are you the member of a food co-op?  We gladly welcome your feedback and suggestions for relevant material. If you see value in these emails, consider supporting our nonprofit by contacting us at info@boundariesandcrossings.org.

Thank you.

chris eberhardt

co-founder of boundariesandcrossings.org

 


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