I live right next to a Whole Foods and shop there regularly because it’s convenient for me, I plan meals poorly for shopping efficiently, and I am still getting the hang of growing my own food, food storage, cooking for myself and knowing where to get the things I need at more locally owned shops.
I feel like a jerk, but luckily, the Wasatch Coop is a very viable alternative — if we want it.
Lately my patronage to Whole Foods has been making me reevaluate my role in this community. I preach local but still drop into Whole Foods at least once per week. WF charges obscene amounts of money for the most basic/healthiest of items, things come in plastic and disposable containers and they put ribbons and bows on food in order to charge more for it.
I’m dependent on them due to my own conditioning and I want an alternative.
Grocer marketing is a whole discipline where vendors know they can charge more for certain things because they know you want to get it all in one place and will pay a bit extra not to have to go somewhere else for that item. it’s a heavily researched discipline to make profits for the owner(s) of Whole Foods. While Whole Foods isn’t the worst for-profit grocer in the valley and do try to give back to the community as best they can for a for-profit corporation, we have an opportunity for an alternative.
The first local market in the valley is going to be the most expensive local grocer to start, but we are creating an economic market for locally owned shops and each coop that follows will be cheaper to start because of our efforts. There’s also a huge reciprocal value in having a local grocer. The money gets reinvested locally, there is more face-time with our neighbors, we have higher quality food and know more about its origins. We can talk to our friends about why this market is important to us and invite them to join us and shop with us as we create an alternative to the consumer for-profit, anti-sustainable options that exist right now. This market will encourage growth and production of of more local products and will create real jobs and real wealth for our neighbors.
Even if you live a bit out from wherever the store ends up being, having this coop in our community will be a boon for our local economy and our environment. Think of it like a library (which our taxes pay for). We can get as little or as much out of libraries as we choose to but we understand that a small investment gets magnified in its benefits to society. I think we can all agree as to the value of a library regardless of how often we use the services. Think of your investment in Wasatch Coop the same way as an opportunity for a permanent, year-round farmer’s market and a tool for your community to take care of itself instead of being dependent on outside corporations.
The Wasatch Cooperative Market will be that place. Modeled after co-ops in cities like Seattle, WA, Burlington, VT, Ashland, OR, and others, the Wasatch Cooperative Market will be like any other grocery store: big and bright, with convenient hours and everything you need under one roof. But unlike any other grocery store this one is a true product of its community. Its focus is local. It aims to be a conduit for local product from local producers. It is truly locally owned, because each of its Member-Owners is a Utahn who believes we deserve local, fresh, sustainable food whenever available.
Join us tonight, Wednesday, Nov 9 2011, at Squatters from 6:30 to 9:30 PM for our Fall Cooperative Celebration!
Please consider becoming a Founding Member-Owner of the Wasatch Coop today. The store will not be built until we have enough members of the community invested. The time to invest is now. Thinking of investment as only investing in places like Wall Street has destroyed our economy, food supply and our communities. The Wasatch Coop is an opportunity for you to have someone to show for your investments instead of losing them to the 1% benefiting from Wall Street.
The sooner you join and convince your friends to join, the sooner we will have our coop!