The East Aurora Co-op Market is a community owned natural foods grocery store. Founded in 2009, EACM came from a desire to create access to whole, nutritious foods, with an emphasis on local, organic and minimally-processed products.
The co-op opened its doors in June 2016 after seven years of diligent and painstaking work by a group of volunteer member-owners. Now, this co-op community shops together, feeding families and friends with wholesome foods. Through EACM, owners and shoppers are routing grocery dollars to WNY farmers and food producers and supporting great jobs in our community with every bag of groceries.
Below are the documents that guide how we work within our store and community, and within the broader international context.
A little co-op history
Check out the video above to learn why co-ops began and how the principles and values established way back in 1844 are still the foundation on which cooperatives are still built today.
To cultivate a sustainable food cooperative that is built by and for the East Aurora community and vicinity through the maximal efficient use of our local resources. Meeting the nutritional needs of our members and customers is our highest priority and will be realized through access to natural, local, sustainable goods, a democratic governing process, and a focus on continuing community education and outreach that promotes a healthy, forward-thinking way of life.
The East Aurora Cooperative Market comprises forward-thinking individuals who believe in and endorse the value of the local food movement. The market strives to be a dynamic community center where our member-owners and customers may obtain a variety of delicious, healthful products that promote a high quality of life and contribute to a thriving local economy. Through democratic governance and community cooperation, the market will be guided by member-owners who believe in education and community outreach.
The East Aurora Cooperative Market:
- Recognizes the connection between a thriving local economy and the food cooperative movement
- Acknowledges the impact of the health of individuals on that of the community
- Will include both organic and traditional options, to reflect the choices of its members
- Will be governed by a democratic decision-making process
- Values inclusivity by embracing both member-owners as well as all members of the community, individuals and families alike
- Believes in access to a high-quality variety of food that can be traced to producers both local and national with similar high standards
- Will strive for fair prices that reflect the quality of the food available
East Aurora Cooperative Market exists so that the Southtowns is a flourishing healthy community that:
- has access to high quality, reasonably-priced food, with an emphasis on local, minimally-processed and ethically-produced goods.
- is empowered to influence what is grown, produced, sold, bought, and consumed.
- has a thriving local economy.
- is knowledgeable about the impact of food and product choice on its well-being.
- is knowledgeable about Cooperative Principles and Values and the cooperative infrastructure is supported.
- is inclusive of diverse persons with diverse needs.
- has a sense of pride, fairness, connectedness, belonging, and fellowship.
- supports and advocates sustainable agriculture, economy, environment, and quality of life in WNY.
The International Cooperative Alliance Statement of Cooperative Identity
Adopted September 1995
A Cooperative 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.
Cooperatives are based on the values of self help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
The seven Cooperative Principles are guidelines by which cooperatives put their values into practice:
- Voluntary and open membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibility of membership without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
- Democratic member control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Those serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
- Member economic participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible, benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative, and supporting other activities supported by the membership.
- Autonomy and independence
Cooperatives 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 cooperative autonomy.
- Education, training and information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinon leades – about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
- Cooperation among cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
- Concern for the community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.