I recently became a member-owner contributor to the BisMan Community Food Cooperative. I am excited about their vision and mission and wanted to share a bit about them in this space in hopes you might contribute, or at least to make you aware of this cooperative. Find them on Facebook here or Twitter here.
The co-op has been in the news recently by announcing a location, general manager and promoting their capital campaign raising money. The co-op will be in the (previously) Snooper’s Tons of Fun building down by the Bismarck Events Center / Denny’s / A&B Pizza. They hope to open the location the beginning of 2016. The member-owner fee is a one-time payment of $200.
I feel like most people in ND are familiar with cooperatives, but here is some brief info from the BisMan Food Co-op website.
A food co-op is a member-owned, member-controlled grocery store that operates for the mutual benefit of all members and according to common principles established for cooperatives. A food co-op provides community members with access to local, all natural, organic, and specialty foods. In turn, local producers gain broader access to the local market. Food cooperatives play an important role in helping to foster the relationship between local producers and community members.
I live in Hazen, which is about 70-75 miles away from Bismarck. I don’t get to Bismarck all that often and I truly love and support our local grocer in Hazen, Krause’s Market. However, I feel like this is something I am passionate about and is a great opportunity not only for Bismarck and Mandan, but the surrounding communities. You do not have to be a member to shop at the co-op, but members do receive some benefits such as member dividends and discounts.
Mission of the Co-op (via their website)
The BisMan Community Food Cooperative is committed to providing a grocery shopping experience reflective of our community’s commitment to health and wellness.
Three Guiding Principles
Real Food: We are what we eat
The BisMan Community Food Co-op sells food…. real food. The co-op’s business model is rooted in the idea that we are what we eat. We provide convenient retail access to healthy and sustainable foods stocked regularly by local farmers & ranchers, other regional producers, and a national supplier.
Empowered Community Members
The BisMan Community Food Co-op is a trusted source of meaningful information about food, health, and wellness in the Bismarck/Mandan community. The Co-op recognizes the need for growing awareness on the impact of food in our community.
Strong Local Economy
The BisMan Community Food Co-op pays fair wages to employees, fair prices to producers, and charges fair prices to members and other patrons. We believe in supporting small farmers and sustainable agriculture.
A Food Co-op will:
- strengthen local economy by supporting local farmers and producers
- create connections for both producers and consumers
- provide a reliable marketplace for local farmers, artists, and other entrepreneurs
- be an educational center focusing on empowering consumers to cook using whole, fresh foods and to provide transparency in our food system
- promote healthy eating with a focus understanding the impacts of our food choices
The BisMan Community Food Co-op is a start-up food cooperative being created by the community for the community. If you want a food co-op in your community, your involvement is necessary! We need 1,200 founding members to open our doors so please become a member today by clicking here.
Please at least look into BisMan Community Food Co-op and consider being a member. Giving our community more food options (especially healthy) is beneficial to us all. I definitely won’t stop making my trips to Krause’s or even Sam’s Club, but I can’t wait to shop at the Food Co-op when it opens!