Sunday, November 29, 2015

Salem Food Co-op Closing Its Doors

Sad for the sturdy, stalwart volunteers who worked so hard, but not unexpected. 
My take is that a startup food co-op is a much harder proposition now in the 2010s than it was in the 1970s or 1980s when organic and natural foods weren't being featured at mainstream corporate grocery chains all over the place.

Without a unique niche to fill, a new food co-op had a much more difficult challenge.

Well-established co-ops, particularly in cities and towns with big universities, can survive on member loyalty for a long time, but new co-ops really have to have something unique to offer that will motivate people out of their routines and make them feel that they want to deal with the vagaries of cooperative ventures, which are often a little hurdle for people new to them.

Here's hoping that the end of Salem Food Co-op is not the end of cooperative ventures or participatory economics in Salem, and that there will be lots of learning to be realized from this chapter that will benefit the next one.

Salem Food Co-op Closing It's Doors

We're Closing Permanently

This is a newsletter to announce that, after much soul searching and a few tears, we've decided to close down operations of the Salem Food Co-op due to a dearth of volunteer involvement and lackluster sales.
We've accomplished much in the three plus years we existed:  We worked with multiple farmers, supported local farms and businesses - Minto Island growers, Teal Creek Farms, Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, Harmony Jack, Cascade Baking, Steel Bridge Coffee, and Full Circle Creamery.  We created a structure for a community co-operative that still remains.  We worked in collaboration with First Alternative Co-op and the NW Hub, and we tried to work with Willamette Friends.


Our mission and vision in developing the Salem Food Co-op was to elevate local, fresh, organic food and cooperative culture, offering members and the greater community the experience of participating in true democracy through the experience of owning and running a member-owned, volunteer-driven food co-operative.  Unfortunately, Salem residents didn't step-up and take advantage of this opportunity. 

Liquidation Sale!

Each Saturday through December 19th, at the Salem Public Market everything is on sale at the Salem Food Co-op booth, including our refrigerator.

All food, except for produce, will be 20% off retail price.  

Come by, stock up on dry goods, and wish us all well.

You can still send questions to our email:


The Salem Food Co-op Board

Copyright © 2015 Salem Food Cooperative, All rights reserved.
Thank you for being a Salem Food Co-op customer or other newsletter subscriber!
Our mailing address is:
Salem Food Cooperative
PO Box 2726
Salem, OR 97308

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