Seward Co-op is a community owned, consumer co-op. Everyone is welcome to shop at Seward Co-op. Cooperatives are very different from privately owned discount clubs, which charge annual fees in exchange for a discount on purchases. Discount clubs are owned and governed by the shareholders. Profits of the business go to the investors. In a cooperative, community members purchase stock in exchange for ownership and the profits belong to the community of owners.
Owners may exercise their ownership by shopping at the grocery stores, running as a candidate in the board of directors election and voting for the board of directors. The overarching goal of the cooperative movement is to create a cooperative economy comprised of businesses that exist to serve the needs of the people who use them. Cooperative businesses provide goods and services in a way that keeps community resources in the community.