It’s a different kind of business. A co-operative is a jointly owned and democratically controlled business that meets the common economic, social and cultural needs of its members. Members can be any group of people – customers, employees, or even other businesses or organizations.
You don’t need to be a member to shop at our co-operative, but you’ll miss out on the benefits of belonging to our business.
How Co-ops are Different
Co-operatives have two key features that make them different from typical businesses:
- All members are owners, and have the same amount of decision-making power (one member, one vote).
- Co-ops give their profits back to members, based on how much a member uses the business, not how much they’ve invested in it.
At Humboldt Co-op, membership means you own part of our co-operative. As an owner, you can participate in the democratic decision-making process by asking questions, voting on resolutions at our Annual Meeting, electing board members or even sitting on the board yourself.
Each year, Humboldt Co-op may return a part of our profits back to you, based on how much you shop with us and how well our business performs. Some of this is returned as equity, which is like a savings account that grows every time you shop at our association.
But we’re more than just a place to shop. We’re a business built to support our communities and meet the needs of our members. Sign up for a lifetime membership today, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about membership, equity or our bylaws.
Learn More About Co-operatives
- Co-operatives First is a non-profit organization funded by Federated Co-operatives Limited and the Co-operative Retailing System. Founded in 2015, the organization provides co-op start up resources, including online courses.
- The International Co-operative Alliance unites, represents and serves co-operatives worldwide. Founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations and one of the largest ones measured by the number of people represented: 1 billion cooperative members on the planet.
Discover more: Membership Benefits