"Co-operatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility."
–UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
What Is a Food Co-op?
A cooperative is a democratic voluntary association of individuals, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cooperatives in Canada alone! From housing cooperatives to worker cooperatives, just about any organization can be run as a cooperative. The East End Food Co-op is a food cooperative, which makes us a democratically-owned community grocery store. We are not owned by a single individual or family that decides how the business' profits are spent, which means the money we make is reinvested back into the store or the community, as decided by the members and the Board of Directors.
The EEFC has been part of the East Vancouver community since the early 1970's, and began as a buying club supplying local families and neighbors with local, organic health food products. Initially, the co-op operated entirely on volunteer labor and was only open a few days a week, but it didn't take long before we outgrew this model and needed to form a different kind of business. This is when we officially became the "East End Co-op Storefront".
In the last 40 years, we have signed up more than 10,000 members, unionized our our staff, and are open 9am-9pm 7 days a week!
We are also Vancouver's last surviving grocery cooperative.
How The Co-op Works
You don't have to be a member to shop with us! But joining has its perks. Members get most of our sales around the store, 10% off all non-sale purchases at our monthly Member Appreciation Day, and opportunities to participate in store governance. When you become a member, you become an owner too.
Is the Co-op More Expensive Than Other Stores?
At the EEFC, it's our mission to bring shoppers as many local, organic, and fairly-sourced products as possible, and to make them as accessibly priced as we can. Because we are small, there will always be a selection of items that are more expensive than can be found at the regional chains or big box stores. But you'd be surprised at how many products are competitively priced, too!
But no matter the cost of a product, know that every dollar you spend at the co-op is getting reinvested into the store and community. Whether it's through our support of other local businesses, our staff's competitive pay and benefits, or community-supporting initiatives, we keep your money circulating in the local economy and that benefits everyone.
How Do I Become a Member?
Signing up is easy! Just drop into the store if you're in the neighborhood and fill out a quick, 20-second form. A membership buys you two shares, and is good for life.