The Concord Food Co-op is a natural foods grocery store, bakery, and café located in Concord and New London, New Hampshire. What began as a humble buying club more than 30 years ago has grown into one of the most successful natural food co-ops in the State. With a true community focus, the Co-op stocks its shelves with delicious foods from hundreds of local and regional farms and producers and offers free and low-cost wellness programs and food events that attract thousands of attendees annually. Approximately 70 cents on every dollar spent at the Co-op is reinvested into the local economy. The Co-op’s cafe and bakery skillfully create award-winning dishes and desserts available in-store, by special order, and for catered events. Everyone is welcome at the Co-op! You do not need to be a member to shop or take part in Co-op programs.
- Provide our community with high quality natural and organic foods and environmentally sound products at reasonable prices.
- Create a personable and friendly place to shop, with the product diversity to satisfy the grocery needs of most health and ecologically conscious households.
- Support environmentally and socially responsible producers and suppliers, including purchasing local and regional products where available within our price and quality standards.
- Provide service that is cheerful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
- Be a resource to our membership by providing information on health and nutrition, and social, political and economic issues related to food, and by promoting awareness of the value of consumer control through the cooperative system.
- Conduct our affairs according to consumer cooperative and financially sound principles and act as a supportive and caring employer.
The Concord Food Co-op evolved out of a community buying club established in the late 1970s. In 1982, the club incorporated and became an independent entity. The Co-op occupied many spaces throughout its infancy, and in 1993 it moved to its current location on South Main Street. In November of 2005, the store expanded, tripling its size and doubling the number of products offered. The expansion allowed for growth in every department and provided the space needed to introduce new services such as the Celery Stick Café, the Co-op’s instore Bakery, and Grab n’ Go deli.
Early in 2009, the Concord Food Co-op was approached by a co-op in New London that was going into bankruptcy. In June of that year, we officially opened Concord Food Co-op of New London (then called Kearsarge Cooperative Grocer), a Lake Sunapee-area sister store of the Co-op.
During the Spring of 2015, the Co-op started a strategic partnership with Canterbury Shaker Village, utilizing the organic garden space to grow select crops for our produce department, kitchen and other local vendors. Co-op Organic Farm Manager, Stacey Cooper has created contracts and arrangements to only grow what is needed locally instead of growing more of what is already available, so you will still find on the shelves of the Co-op your favorite local organic farm produce.
Currently, the Co-op has an active membership of approximately 7,000 households, and we continue to grow each day.
Seven Cooperative Principles
Concord Food Co-op strives to maintain the seven cooperative principles that drives every Co-op:
- Voluntary and Open Membership without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
- Democratic Member Control whereby the members, actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
- Members’ Economic Participation in the capital of the cooperative is equitable and democratically controlled.
- Autonomy and Independence – Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.
- Education, Training, and Information is provided to the members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives.
- 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 Community – While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
For more information about Co-ops, check out this video from StrongerTogether.com: