Frequently Asked questions
What is a food coop?
As a cooperative grocery store, we are not owned by one person or entity but are instead owned and governed democratically by our members. We exist to serve and benefit our members by channeling our profits back to them, via discounts on our quality products and services. By purchasing a lifetime membership in Kingston Food Coop, you become a member and are entitled to a vote on important issues and in the election of board positions.
What are the benefits of becoming a Coop member?
Once you become a member of Kingston Food Coop, you are a member for life. Your benefits will include:
*Special member discounts, member appreciation days, and additional discounts on bulk orders.
*Being part of a vibrant, community-focused market that prioritizes local, healthy, and affordable food.
*A vote in the Coop’s board member elections and other important decisions, as well as the chance to run for a board seat yourself.
*The opportunity to participate more deeply in our Kingston economy and support local food sources.
When will the store open?
We are currently in the process of building a community of members and raising funds to open a storefront in the city of Kingston. You can help shorten our timeline by becoming a member, attending events, and getting involved.
When can I purchase my membership?
You can purchase your membership right now, by clicking here. Thank you so much!
How much does a membership cost?
A Kingston Food Coop membership costs $150 per adult. This one-time fee entitles you to membership for life — it will never expire! And if you are one of the first 200 members, you’ll be recognized as a Founding Member. Each shopping adult in a household is expected to become a member, and you can purchase any number of memberships when you checkout.
Click here to join the Coop now. Thank you!*Please note that Coop members may vote to adjust membership fees in the future.
Why should I become a member now, instead of waiting until the store opens?
In order to raise the funds necessary to open a physical storefront, we need the financial support of community-minded people just like you. By purchasing a lifetime membership now, you will not only help us get one step closer to establishing the storefront, but you’ll also be one of our Founding Members — a select group of members who will be publicly recognized for their vision and early commitment to the co-op.However, if you are not able to commit the full membership fee now, we will have monthly payment plans available once the storefront opens, and we will soon have lower-cost shares available for qualifying members.
Will members be required to work at the Coop?
There is no work requirement for membership at this time, but there will be volunteer opportunities.
Will I have to be a member to shop at the Coop?
No; our market will be open to the public. However, only members will be eligible for special discounts and member appreciation events.
Do I have to live in Kingston to become a member of the Coop?
Any New York state resident is eligible to become a member — and once you’ve purchased your membership, you are a member for life!
Is the Coop a non-profit?
Kingston Food Coop is a cooperative corporation, not a non-profit. However, any profits we make will be channeled back to our members through discounts and by investing in the Coop to make it best meet the needs of members. Membership fees are not tax-deductible.
How is the Coop different from a buyers' club?
In a buyer's club, people pool their collective purchasing power to gain discounts on the products they order, and products are distributed without a storefront. As a grocery store open regular hours, the Coop will be setting reasonable prices for all our members, and members will not be required to go in on orders together in order to purchase goods. However, the Coop will offer individual members the option of ordering items in bulk for additional discounts.
Will the Coop accept SNAP benefits?
Yes, the Coop will accept SNAP benefits when we are open for business.
What will I be able to buy at the Coop?
Once our storefront opens, we will stock a variety of fresh produce and staple foods — the same types of things you can expect to find at other mid-size grocery stores. We'll be prioritizing healthful and local products as much as possible. As we get closer to our opening day, we'll reach out to our members to ensure we sell the products our community needs and wants.
Once the Coop is open for business, we will have payment plans available for all members. In addition, we're currently establishing a fund to partially cover the cost of memberships for qualifying low-income members. If you would like to be placed on a wait list for the lower-cost membership, or contribute financially to the fund, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.