Store FAQs

How will we address boycotts?

The Governance Committee (one of our Board subcommittees) is the body in charge of setting policies in regards to boycotts. We understand that this has been a source of upheaval in other co-op communities, and we are deeply concerned about our membership feeling included. We have been researching the topic in depth.

Will we have food to go?

We are looking at our alternatives for providing ready-made food, including use of kitchen facilities or partnership with local food vendors. As our store GM determines the product mix that is best suited to our customers, you can help by offering your input on our blog inquiries. We read your replies.

How much packaging will be used in our products?

The Governance Committee (one of our Board subcommittees) is the body in charge of setting our environmental policies. We understand that this is a difficult balance and are researching the topic. If you have valuable input regarding this issue, please contact our Governance Committee. Our store GM will help us determine the product mix that is best suited to our customers while meeting the constraints of our environmental policies.

Will we have a bulk section?

Yes. A significant addition to the Neighborhood Market (during the store transition) was to add an extensive bulk food section.

What differentiates the Co-op from Tacoma Boys, Marlene’s and farmers’ markets?

Community, product criteria and ownership.

Our primary objective is to provide organic and local foods in an exceptional retail environment.

If we are successful, we will create three community-wide benefits: First, our customers, the general public as well as our member-owners, will have improved access to healthful food and will learn more about nutrition, food choices and preparation. This will give them more control over one of life’s most important elements: the food we eat.

Second, Puget Sound food producers – the farmers and ranchers, bread makers and candy spinners – will have a large, steady interface with the market. We will not just sell a few local items as the latest fad. We embrace local supply as a fundamental principle.

Finally, we want to weave another strand in the web of community, a strand of food health and food enjoyment. The relationships that start with food can lead to many other kinds of connections and collaborations.

Will we be required to provide more parking?

No. Since there is an existing grocery and since it is within one block of a bus stop, no additional parking is required.

Will members be required to volunteer or get a discount for volunteering?

Members will not be required to volunteer. We welcome all volunteers! Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering. No discount will be provided at this time, but once the co-op becomes financially successful, volunteers will receive some kind of discount or other compensation for their time.

Will we do cooking demonstrations?

We hope to be able to provide cooking demonstrations, but these services may be initially limited due to the size of the store. We hope to be able to use creative community partnerships to achieve this goal.

How will the Co-op benefit the greater Tacoma community?

Food is an essential part of life. Access to clean and green food is hard to come by. If you are concerned about access to food that is local, non-GMO, allergen-free, organic, sustainably harvested, and/or pesticide-free, then the Tacoma Food Co-op will be a place where you will want to come to purchase food.

In addition, a friendly store with a focus on healthy alternatives for food will draw a community of like minds. And last, the co-op will be driven by its membership (you!) with an emphasis on quality food over profits. Although we must be profitable to sustain and grow, we are not a corporation driven by numbers, we are a community organization interested in supporting the needs of our members.

Why is it better than Walmart?

Although we must be profitable to sustain and grow, we are not a corporation driven by numbers. We are a community organization interested in supporting the needs of our members. The function of the Co-op Board is to listen to the membership and give voice to their concerns as we shape the future of the Co-op. One member, one vote. Join us and see.

How will increasing global food commodity prices affect the market analysis?

Our Co-op will be affected to the same degree as any other grocery. Our local items should be better off than others that rely on a lot of transportation as gas prices increase.

Will the co-op be organic only?

No, products must meet one or more of 3 criteria: organic/natural, local and/or sustainable.

Will we have discounted merchandise (seconds, old produce)?

Our GM will create policies regarding this issue and we will post them on the website.

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