Member-Owned Community Co-op
Everyone is welcome
Hunger Mountain Co-op is a democratically governed, member-owned, natural food cooperative. Our Co-op has nearly 170 employees, more than 500 local vendors, and over 8,000 member-owners. Last year, we experienced $24.4 million in sales, 40% of which was from the sales of local products.
Our purpose remains deeply rooted in our belief that good food helps to create sustainable local food systems and vibrant, healthy communities. Hunger Mountain Co-op is so much more than just a grocery store. Come for the food. Stay for the conversation.
Hunger Mountain Co-op began as a pre-order service in the late 60’s when a group of neighbors came together to buy bulk groceries. When the orders became large enough, the members voted to open a storefront in Plainfield.
After a few years, it was apparent that the store was too small for the needs of all its members. A new storefront in Montpelier opened as a separate operation on the corner of Barre and Granite Street. This was the birth of Hunger Mountain Co-op as we know it today. This building has since been demolished and, in recent years, the location has become a Co-op employee parking lot.
Hunger Mountain Co-op moved to 403 Barre Street and enjoyed a few years of steady growth from that location. In 1997, we moved one last time into what is our current building at 623 Stone Cutters Way. This building, nestled on the banks of the Winooski River, went through an expansion in 2008, bringing it to approximately 20,000 square feet. We are now more than ten times the size of our original Montpelier location on the corner of Barre and Granite.
Mission & Ends Policy
We are a member-owned, community-based natural market committed to building a dynamic community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems, and thriving cooperative commerce.
The Co-op Council governs by a system of policy setting and monitoring. The Ends policies state the Co-op’s purpose; they define what the organization must achieve to be successful. The Council reviews its policies according to an annual calendar. It also monitors compliance with its policies on an annual cycle, mainly through reports prepared by the General Manager.
More specifically, we will have:
• A cooperatively owned retail outlet for natural and organic food-based goods and services that meet our Members’ and customers’ needs.
• A community increasingly educated about food and health and considerate of the impacts of its purchases.
• Local ownership and control of a comprehensive, sustainable food economy.
• Financially sustainable operations that support and yield economic, social and environmental returns.
A cooperative (co-op) is a business operated and democratically controlled by its membership of owners to meet their common needs and aspirations. Co-ops are guided by the following seven principles.
Voluntary, Open Ownership
Open to all without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. You may shop, you may join, and you may leave the co-op at any time.
Democratic Owner Control
One Owner, one vote. Your voice will be heard.
Owner Economic Participation
Owners contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. The economic benefits of a cooperative operation are returned to the owners, reinvested in the co-op, or used to provide owner services.
Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their owners. Together, you are autonomous.
Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for owners so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their owners most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national and international structures.
Concern for the Community
While focusing on owner needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their owners.