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

Our Mission

North Coast Co-op is a
member-owned organization guided by the cooperative principles. As a leader in our community we emphasize a diverse selection of products while engaging members through consumer education, community building, and environmental responsibility.

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 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.


Corporate Offices
811 I Street
Arcata, CA 95521
(707) 826-8670

Human Resources
Lisa Landry, ext. 127

Ron Sharp, ext. 131


Ten Pin Corporate Offices
(707) 502-3555

General Manager
Kelli Reese, ext. 124

Membership Coordinator
Bella Waters, ext. 135

Outreach Director
Melanie Bettenhausen, ext. 132

Chief Financial Officer
Kelli Costa, ext. 138


Arcata Store
8th & I Streets, 707 822-5947
Kevin Waters, ext. 125

Eureka Store
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


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.

Themes include:

-Develop Our Local Foodshed
-Invest in Our Future
-Educate and Advocate
-Enhance the Co-op Experience
-Promote Environmental Responsibility

Read the full document...

Questions? Contact Kelli Reese at (707) 502-3555 ext. 124.



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 products.

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.

Membership 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 Disclosure 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 Membership Coordinator, Bella Waters, at (707) 502-3555 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 as:
• 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.

Owners 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.
Fair 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. Fair Share owners can also invest in dividend earning Class C shares. For information on Class C shares read the “Investing in Your Co-op: Frequently Asked Questions” or pick up a copy of it at Customer Service. For more information contact our Membership Coordinator at (707) 502-3555 ext. 135.

View Our C Shares FAQ Here

Simply 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 grave.

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 societies.

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 Pioneers Society.

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.



North Coast Co-op Vote for the Board of Directors 2015

Election - 2015
Welcome to the North Coast Co-op Board of Directors election for 2015! Two seats are open to the general membership and nine candidates are running for those seats— Mary Ella Anderson, Chris Copple, Colin Fiske, Laura Kurtz, Kate Lancaster, Tim McDermond, Katie Niday, Leah Stamper and Mitch Trachtenberg. There is a third seat on the Board dedicated to and elected by employee members that needs to be ratified by the general North Coast Co-op membership—Jeremy Cotton. Find Candidate Statement videos on our You Tube page for the nine general membership seats. Written candidate statements, voting guidelines and official ballot can be found in the Special Election Section of the September 2015 issue of the Co-op News. Voting begins September 1 and ends October 14 at 5pm. Voting stations and ballot boxes are available near the entrance at each of our stores. Contact our Membership Coordinator with questions at (707) 502-3555 ext. 135.

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North Coast Co-op Annual Membership Meeting

RSVP for this free member-only event by October 13 at Customer Service in Arcata or Eureka or by calling our Membership Coordinator (707) 382-3109. RSVPs help our Prepared Foods Team know how much food to make. Member-owners of the North Coast Co-op will not be turned away from the Annual Membership Meeting if they did not RSVP, but we encourage it.

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Board of Directors - 2014/2015
The North Coast Co-op is a wholly member-owned and governed organization by a Board of Directors elected by our membership. The board can be contacted via email at board@northcoast.coop. All member correspondence to the board must be received eight days prior to the board meeting date in order to be included in the board packet. Members are invited and encouraged to attend meetings.

Next Meeting:

Thursday, November 5 @ 6pm
Co-op Community Kitchen, ARCATA // 971 8th Street
(No meeting in October due to the Annual Membership Meeting)

Board Meeting Agenda - September, 2015 (PDF)

Board Meeting Minutes - August, 2015 (PDF)

(Only approved minutes can be posted. Please contact our Membership Coordinator at (707) 502-3555 ext. 135 for more current information.)

The current Board members and terms are:

Jessica Unmack - Board Chair
11/01/13 - 10/31/16

Steve Suttell - Vice Chair

Kate Lancaster - Treasurer
11/01/12 - 10/31/15

Dave Feral - Secretary
11/01/14 - 10/31/17

Jeremy Cotton - Employee Director
04/02/15 - 10/31/16

Cheri Strong - Employee Director
11/01/14 - 10/31/17

Fred Moore - Board Member
11/01/12 - 10/31/15

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The Board operates four standing committees—Finance, Nominating, Member Action and Policies and Procedures. These committees contribute to the organization and operations in an advisory capacity. Summaries of their structures are listed below. Members are invited to attend.

Finance Committee
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 Kate Lancaster.
• Consists of 4-11 members.
• Staff liaison is Chief Financial Officer, Kelli Costa, (707) 502-3555 ext. 138
• Meets quarterly.
• Next meeting:

Next Meeting: November 12 @ 5:30pm
Ten Pin Conference Room // 793 K St. in Arcata

Finance Committee Meeting Agenda - August, 2015 (PDF)


Nominating Committee
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 Cheri Strong.
• Consists of 3-5 members.
• Staff liaison is the Board Assistant, Bella Waters, (707) 382-3109
• Meets as often as deemed necessary for its functions.

Next Meeting: Thursday, October 15 @ 3:30pm
Ten Pin Conference Room // 793 K St. in Arcata

Nominating Committee Meeting Agenda - July, 2015 (PDF)

Member Action Committee
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 mac@northcoast.coop. Members are encouraged to attend.

• The committee chair is selected by the Member Action Committee
• No committee chair currently selected
• Any Co-op member can be on the committee
• Staff liaison is Marketing & Membership Director Melanie Bettenhausen (707)502-3555 ext 132
• Meets at the request of the Board of Directors.

Next Meeting: October 19 @ 6pm
Community Kitchen, Arcata // 971 8th Street

MAC Meeting Packet -September 2015 (PDF)
To receive a full meeting packet email membership@northcoast.coop and include your member number.

MAC Meeting Minutes - August 2015 (PDF)


Policies and Procedures Committee
Acts as an advisory committee to the Board, taking on issues delegated by the Board as well as reviewing all governing documents including Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Administrative Code and policies of the Co-op. This meeting is open to members.

• The chair is the Board Secretary
• Committee Chair is Dave Feral
• Staff liaison to be determined.
• Meets as often as deemed necessary.

Next meeting: October 14 @ 3pm
Ten Pin Conference Room // 793 K Street in Arcata

Policies and Procedures Meeting Agenda - October 2015 (PDF)

Policies and Procedures Meeting Minutes - August 2015 (PDF)

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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.

North 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.

View our job listings

Click here to download an application.