River Valley Co-op is a local business that supports local farmers & our shared community.
With a focus on local and organic grocery items, we have fresh produce, fresh meat and seafood, cheese and dairy, fresh bread delivered daily, an in-house deli and kitchen, house-made baked goods, a wide selection of bulk foods, and a large health and wellness department. Since we are owned by our customers we stock the foods customers want to buy instead of the foods manufacturers want to sell. With two moderately sized stores located in adjacent communities, we are large enough to meet your needs and small enough to meet your neighbors!
What is a co-op?
The co-op is a business that is 100% owned by its co-op owners on a democratic basis, with one equity share per owner. The $150 River Valley Co-op owner equity investment is a purchase of stock. No co-op owner can purchase more than one equity share. This makes every owner an equal shareholder with a single vote. The board of directors in a cooperative is made up of co-op owners who are elected by the ownership to oversee and lead the cooperative on behalf of the owners.
The Seven Cooperative Principles
Co-ops are based on values not unlike those we subscribe to individually, including self-responsibility, democracy, equality, honesty and social responsibility.
In addition to these common values, seven basic international principles serve as guidelines to provide a democratic structure for co-ops around the world. While adoption of these principles is not required, most co-ops choose to adopt them for their business.
1. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
3. MEMBERS' ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
4. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative's autonomy.
5. EDUCATION, TRAINING AND INFORMATION
Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.