What is an Urban Food Cooperative?
At VASDC, we distinguish between two types of food/grocery cooperatives. The urban food cooperative is located in a metropolitan area, usually with a university, and focuses on providing organic, locally sourced, non-GMO produce and dry goods. Residents of the area typically have above average income and education. There are generally many alternative private grocery stores, such as Krogers, Walmart, or Hy-Vee, where residents can shop.
This food cooperative contrasts with the small town model that is explained here. The small town cooperative provides basic grocery items to local residents and is likely the only option in the area for fresh produce and meats. Rural residents are probably less concerned about the organic and non-GMO designation and, instead, simply want access to fresh produce and meats. They are envision the grocery co-op as an important institution and economic driver for their small town.
The following urban food cooperatives are operating in Illinois:
|Bloomington||Green Top Grocery||http://greentopgrocery.com/|
|Carbondale||Neighborhood Co-op Grocery||http://neighborhood.coop/|
|Chicago||Chicago Market – A Community Co-op|
|Chicago||Co-op Markets: Whole Health|
|Chicago||Dill Pickle Food Co-op||http://dillpickle.coop/|
|DeKalb||Duck Soup Co-op||http://www.ducksoupcoop.com/|
|Lombard||Prairie Food Co-op||http://www.prairiefood.coop|
|Matteson||South Suburban Food Co-op|
|Oak Park||The Sugar Beet||http://www.sugarbeetcoop.com|
|Park Forest||South Suburban Food Co-op|
|Urbana||Common Ground Food Co-op||http://commonground.coop/|
Source: Cooperative Grocery Network
A Challenging Environment for Urban Food Cooperatives
How VASDC Can Help