Food Co-op Initiative

Strengthening Communities through Cooperation
Food Co-op Initiative paves the way for New Food Co-op Excellence, leading to better fed, healthier communities with local control and connections.

FCI aims to increase the number, success and sustainability of new food cooperatives delivering access to healthy food in diverse communities across this country. It provides information, training and technical assistance, as well as seed capital, and engages in research to blaze, maintain and improve the development path for new food coops.


Food Co-op Initiative began as a pilot project designed to test the theory that new food retail co-ops could open more quickly and successfully if they had appropriate guidance. Launched by a group of visionary co-op supporters in 2005, Food Co-op 500 started out by offering development grants and peer support to groups starting new food co-ops in diverse settings. In addition to providing guidance and funding, the organization wanted to see first-hand what impact different organizing practices and community types had on successful startup efforts. Patterns and trends started to emerge and Food Co-op 500 was able to offer more effective guidance based on our experience working with these early startups.

They adopted their current logo in 2015 to represent the process of opening a new retail food co-op. The first circle is for the organizing stage, as the conversation starts at the smaller “kitchen table” and grows to a larger community-driven initiative. The hard work of feasibility and planning move the startup forward in the second circle. The third circle is for the implementation stage of building out the store and opening its doors.

About Cooperatives and .coop
The global Cooperative community has more than 1 billion members, representing 12% of the world’s employed population. All Cooperatives verify their identity when selecting a .coop web address. Your unique business identity is recognized online with a .coop domain name – your digital brand – a brand known for its economic advantages to its community, consumers, and members.

If you would like your cooperative featured, click on this link to submit your story.

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