More than a Grocery Store

We live in a town rich in grocery stores. Why would you want to shop at Bloomingfoods over a store that is, perhaps, closer to home or which carries more products?

We know from the readers of the Herald-Times that we are the #1 health food store in Bloomington and the #2 grocery store. We operate the #1 salad bar in Bloomington and are the #2 place in town to buy fresh produce, second only to Farmers' Market.

One thing that makes us different is that we are a co-op. We are not just a grocery store, but a place of shared values. You can read about the International Cooperative Principles to review those values, but more importantly, you can feel them and see them at work not only in our stores but at many community events.

You, our member-owners, vote each year for board members who support these cooperative principles, the values we hold dear. Our legal structure is designed to give each member one vote. This is different from other forms of business. Corporations sell shares, and the shareholder with the largest number of shares has the most say.

Co-ops are a union of persons. Corporations are a union of capital. Co-ops exist primarily in order to provide services to their member-owners. Corporations exist to provide maximum profits to their shareholders.  A surplus (profits) of funds in a co-op can be refunded to member-owners. In a corporation, surplus (profit) is allocated to voting shares owned. These shares can be freely traded and fluctuate in value. In a co-op, shares are held in the name of the member and are not traded for speculation.

The cooperative business model assists us in serving the needs of our local community, keeping our money and our focus on making this a great place to live. Next time you are enjoying the delicious foods we offer, bite into the idea that you are also savoring the flavors of taking part in the well-being of your local and international community. Your participation makes a significant difference in the world you see. Every co-op membership strengthens the health of your family and your planet. What can we say but thanks for making it happen.

Carol Bridges
for the BCS/Bloomingfoods Board of Directors

The photo here is our Kirkwood store, in continuous operation since 1976