As a cooperative business, we adhere to these principles:
• Voluntary and Open Membership
• Democratic Member Control
• Member Economic Participation
• Autonomy and Independence
• Education, Training, and
• Cooperation Among Co-ops
• Concern for Community
The North Coast Cooperative is a member-owned community market
guided by cooperative principles emphasizing a diverse selection
of organic, bulk, and local food products. The Co-op provides
consumer education so that shoppers can make informed choices.
The Co-op promotes community building and environmental sustainability
while maintaining financial stability. The foundation of our
work is meeting member needs.
Statement of Co-operative Identity
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united
voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural
needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility,
democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition
of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical
values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring
811 I Street
Arcata, CA 95521
Kelli Reese, ext. 124
Bella Waters, ext. 135
Melanie Bettenhausen, ext. 132
Lisa Landry, ext. 127
Ron Sharp, ext. 131
Chief Financial Officer
Kelli Costa, ext. 138
8th & I Streets, 707 822-5947
Kevin Waters, ext. 125
4th & B Streets, 707 443-6027
Toby Massey, ext. 141
Co-op Board of Directors
Correspondence to the Board is forwarded to Bella Waters, ext. 135.
STRATEGIC PLAN 2014
The North Coast Co-op is in full planning mode for our 2014-2018 Strategic Plan. Learn more about the Co-op's strategic planning process in the March issue of the Co-op News here or
Contact Membership Coordinator Bella Waters at (707) 826-8670 ext. 135.
STRATEGIC PLAN 2009
Operational decisions should be driven by a plan of where an organization wants to go, that's why we have created a 5-year strategic plan for the North Coast Co-op. Rather than a top-down plan reflecting the vision of one person or a small group, we sought input from the Board of Directors, the management team, the employees and the member owners at large.
-Serving our membership
-Serving our community
-Serving the environment
-Developing our employees
-Improving our financial position
-Developing the "Co-op Experience"
Read the full document...
Questions? Contact Kelli Reese at (707) 826-8670 ext. 124.
AT BOARD MEETINGS
Join the North Coast Co-op Board of Directors in learning about important issues regarding co-ops and the community at large. Because the board recognizes that not everyone can attend every meeting, they have posted the educational forums on our You Tube channel for easy viewing from home.
The North Coast Co-op maintains a focus of educating our members and therefore will continue to support this mission by providing the following information:
Richardson Grove Expansion
Humboldt Poultry Cooperative
LUNA Kids Cooperative Preschool
Watch this space for future topics!
If you would like to comment on a video, please visit our blog.
by the North Coast Co-op
Board of Directors
The North Coast Cooperative recognizes both the potential health and environmental hazards associated with Genetically Engineered (GE) foods and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in our food chain. A Genetically Modified Organism is an organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering (1). Working outside of the confines of natural possibilities, these alterations leave a risk of unknown consequences to the ecosystem and public health. The North Coast Cooperative believes that at this time the best way to avoid GE and GMO products is to consume only certified organic food. We call upon regulatory agencies to support thorough testing and strict labeling standards for GMO products. Education and information regarding food safety is a responsibility the North Coast Cooperative accepts and embraces. There are resources available throughout the store, as well as on our web site to stay informed regarding controversial technologies and practices.
(1) As defined by the American Heritage Medical Dictionary.
We Own It!
A cooperative is a business owned and managed by its members. As locally owned businesses, co-ops are committed to the people they serve and the communities in which they live.
As a member you belong to an organization that strives to sustain
the environment, the economy and the community. The Co-op
actively supports local agriculture, food producers and general
Owners have a voice in what is sold to them, as well as in the overall organization of their co-op. Owners get the most buying power for their money and the money stays in the community, contributing to its strength.
Has Many Benefits
Upon becoming a member of the Co-op, receive a free Co-op shopping bag, a coupon for $1.50 off of a bakery item and other valuable coupons. In addition receive the following benefits:
Vote for the Board of Directors (one vote per
membership). Members can also run for the Board or serve on one of its committees. Members can also vote in special elections called by the Board. Elections are held in the fall.
Attend the Board and Committee meetings that shape the Co-op. Members can voice their opinions and concerns regarding food, policy, and community. Click here for meeting dates and times.
Rights and responsibilities are a unique aspect of belonging to a cooperative rather than a corporate grocery store. More about the rights and responsibilities of members can be found in Membership Disclusure document. For more detailed information, read our Articles of Incorporation and bylaws, the legal documents the Co-op uses to govern itself. Paper copies are available at Customer Service.
Receive The Co-op News a monthly publication of the North Coast Co-op containing financial, operational, community, nutritional
and food safety information, which is mailed directly to your home.
Members Out Loud Online Blog allows for electronic feedback and comments from members about Co-op operations and food related topics.
Investment in "B" Shares in order to support the Co-op's cash flow. Learn more from Member Services Director, Bella Waters, at (707) 826-8670 ext. 135.
Receive patronage refunds when declared by the
Board of Directors. Patronage refunds are a form of profit sharing
that are the result of a profitable fiscal year.
Receive in-store discounts and specials when
available. Members receive a 5% discount on their entire purchase
on the day of their choosing, once a month. Learn more about the Member Appreciation Discount here.
Discounted Cooking Classes and Workshops. Save as much as $10 per cooking class or workshop in the Community Kitchen at our Eureka location. Click here for a schedule.
Cash personal checks at the Co-op for $60 above the
purchase amount. Owners can also cash government or payroll checks.
More detailed check cashing information is available at the register
or Customer Service
Receive notification of product recalls. Members who shop using their member number are contacted when the items they have purchased have been recalled for safety reasons.
Receive refunds without a receipt. Because member purchases are tracked, items can be returned without a receipt.
Members Sustain Our Community
The Co-op supports many community organizations, such
• Sustainable agriculture programs
• Harvest of the Month & Farm To School
• Local Food Banks
• Area schools from K-16
• Women and children programs
• Local running and biking events
• Community festivals & events
Become a Member Owner
It is Easy to Apply
Pick up a "Join Us" brochure the next time you are shopping. Give the completed application to Customer Service, along with a minimum of $25
for your Membership "A" Share.
In a few weeks you will receive your membership card.
Show it every time you go through the check stand to receive
credit for your patronage and be eligible for other benefits. Your
membership "A" share is $25. "B" shares can
then be purchased for $10 each.
may withdraw their membership, and receive the full amount of
their share investment minus a $5 processing fee, in accordance
with the Co-op's bylaws and withdrawal policy.
Keep Your Membership Active
To keep your membership active, you must do one of the following during each fiscal year ending in March:
• Purchase at least $50 in products
• Purchase a minimum of one "B" Share
• Be a Fair Share member
Become a "Fair Share" Member.
Share owners make an additional investment in the Co-op to help
sustain its on-going commitment to providing top quality goods
and services at reasonable prices. Fair Share owners invest $300 in "B" Shares. For more information contact our Membership Coordinator, Bella Waters, at (707) 826-8670 ext. 135.
put, a cooperative is a business owned and managed by its members.
The structure is to pool resources to satisfy a common need while
providing goods and services as economically and efficiently
as possible. As locally owned businesses, co-ops are committed
to the people they serve and the communities in which they live.
Owners can have a voice in what is sold to them, as well as
in the overall organization of their particular co-op. Owners
get the most buying power for their money and the money stays
in the community, contributing to its economic strength.
Co-ops Are Everywhere
There are roughly 30,000 consumer cooperatives in the United States employing more than two million and bringing in $654 billion in revenue.
Every day in America, the lives of as many as 100 million people
are affected by cooperatives. The cooperative structure is
flexible and endlessly adaptable, and in the twenty-first
century co-ops provide almost every imaginable product and
service a person could ever need, literally from cradle to
There are co-ops that sell bicycles, furniture, camping equipment,
appliances, carpeting, clothing, crafts and books. There are
cooperative wholesalers, like those in the grocery, natural
foods and hardware businesses. There are cooperatives that
disseminate news and cooperatives for artists. There are cooperative
electric and telephone utilities. There are cooperatively managed
banks, credit unions and community development corporations.
There are thousands of farm co-ops, along with co-ops that
provide financing to those farm co-ops. There are subscriber-owned
cable TV systems and parent-run day-care centers.
There are cooperatively organized employee-owned companies,
cooperative purchasing groups for fast food franchises, and
various kinds of cooperative housing. There are co-ops that
provide health care, such as health maintenance organizations
and community health clinics. There are cooperative insurance
companies. There are cooperative food stores, food buying clubs
and discount warehouses. There are even cooperative funeral
In the Beginning
To truly understand cooperatives, you need to go back in history
just over 100 years to Rochdale, England. In 1844, 28 workers
formed the first successful cooperative. They were weavers,
shoemakers, cabinetmakers, tailors, printers, hatters and
engineers who together called themselves the Rochdale Equitable
Cooperative societies existed before then, but the Pioneers
were doing something different, something that touched a nerve.
Although they couldn't have appreciated the significance, in
retrospect, it's clear their co-op profoundly changed the lives
of millions of working people. From a tiny store stocked
with healthy food staples-flour, sugar, butter and oatmeal
that the co-op's owners bought in quantity and sold to each
other at low prices-their idea established the fundamental
principles of modern cooperation that were eventually borrowed
by 700 million people in nearly 100 countries.
Most of this text was taken from "A Day in the Life of
Cooperative America," produced in 1994 for the National
Cooperative Bank in conjunction with its celebration of the
150th anniversary of the Rochdale Principles.
of Directors - 2012/2013
The North Coast Co-op is a wholly member-owned and governed organization
by a Board of Directors elected by our ownership. The board can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members are invited and encouraged to attend meetings.
Thursday, May 23, 2013@ 6pm
Arcata Community Kitchen
(across the street from our Arcata location)
Board Agenda - April (PDF)
Board Meeting Minutes - March (PDF)
(Only approved minutes can be posted. Please contact Bella Waters for more current information.)
The current Board
members and terms are:
John Woolley - Chair
11/01/11 - 10/31/14
Melanie Cunningham - Vice Chair
11/01/10 - 10/31/13
Steve Suttell - Treasurer
11/01/10 - 10/31/13
Kate Lancaster - Secretary
11/01/12 - 10/31/15
Tim Silva - Employee Director
11/01/11 - 10/31/14
Fred Moore - Board Member
11/01/12 - 10/31/15
Open Seat - Employee Director
11/01/13 - 10/31/16
The Board operates two standing committees--Finance and Nominating--and one ad hoc committee--Co-op Action. These committees contribute
to the organization and operations in an advisory capacity.
Summaries of their structures are listed below. Members are invited to attend.
Reviews and analyzes all financial information to be presented
to the Board. Considers financial motions that ultimately must
be approved by the Board. This meeting is open to members.
• The Chair is appointed by the Board President.
• The Chair is Steve Suttell.
• Consists of 4-11 members.
• Staff liaison is Chief Financial Officer, Kelli Costa, (707) 826-8670 ext. 138
• Meets quarterly.
• Next meeting:
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 @ 5:30
Co-op Conference Room
8th & I Streets,
Recruits and nominates candidates for the Board and committees.
Supervises the elections of and the training/development of leadership
in directors and committee members.
• The Chair is appointed by the Board President.
• Committee Chair is Kate Lancaster.
• Consists of 3-5 members.
• Staff liaison is the Board Assistant, Bella Waters, (707) 826-8670
• Meets as often as deemed necessary for its functions.
• No meetings are currently scheduled.
Co-op Action Committee (ad hoc)
Acts as an advisory committee to the Board, providing an organized structure for members to come together, to communicate their ideas and concerns, and to influence North Coast Co-op policy and practice. Contact via email Co-opActionCommittee@northcoastco-op.com. Members are encouraged to attend.
• The chair is appointed by the Board President.
• Committee Chair is not currently appointed.
• Consists of 3-9 Co-op members.
• Staff liaison is Outreach Director, Melanie Bettenhausen, (707) 826-8670 ext. 132.
• Meets at the request of the Board of Directors.
• No meetings scheduled at this time.
The following Statement of Cooperative Identity was adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995:
Statement on the Co-operative Identity:
||A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
||Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.
The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.
Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social racial, political, or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote), and co-operatives at other levels are also organized in a democratic manner.
Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations, controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of the co-operative. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
Co-operation Among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, regional, national, and international structures.
Concern for Community
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities, through policies approved by their members.
Coast Co-op is a growing, dynamic and diverse retail grocery
operation with a natural foods emphasis and, as with all co-ops,
an emphasis on employee and consumer education. In addition to
wages and salary the Co-op provides medical, dental, optical
and vacation benefits; employee discounts; yummy perks and a
great work environment. We have two retail stores and an in-house
production bakery and deli. The North Coast Co-op is an equal
opportunity employer. Currently there are about 200 employees.
Job openings are generally advertised at each store. Applications
can be obtained by downloading one below, picking one up at Customer Service, or you may request
one to be mailed by calling Lisa Landry at (707) 826-8670 ext. 127.
View our job listings
Click here to download an application.