What Is a Co-op?

Simply put, a consumer co-op is a business owned and democratically governed by its customers. What that means is that unlike a corporation, our purpose isn’t to accumulate profits for investors, but rather to meet the goals and aspirations of our Wedge community. Any surplus we generate is reinvested in the business or returned to our owners at the end of the fiscal year. Owners have a say how the Wedge conducts business and the services and support it provides. They also reap the rewards of monthly discounts and special owner pricing and sales.

Natural food co-ops are a success story. Since the 1970s, the Wedge and our fellow natural foods co-ops have been making organic, unprocessed foods available to local communities through the power of organizing and building relationships with trusted producers and vendors. Thanks to those efforts, organic foods are now a part of nearly every mainstream grocery chain in America, and the natural food industry is thriving.

What sets us apart is the way we directly cultivate and sustain a local economy right here in Minneapolis. When you spend dollars as a Wedge owner, they stay in farm fields down the road and commercial kitchens around the corner. We’re proud of the way co-ops have transformed how people think about food and farming, but we’re not done making change.

To learn more about the benefits and responsibilities of becoming a Wedge owner, visit our ownership page.

7 Cooperative Principles

Food co-ops and co-ops around the world are guided by the same 7 basic principles. We follow these principles to provide value to our owners, our community and to help make the world a better place. We’re proud to be a co-op!

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Member Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy and Independence
  5. Education, Training and Information
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
  7. Concern for Community