• About Seward Co-op

    Everyone welcome

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 stores, dining in the café, running as a candidate in the board of director election and voting in board of director elections. 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.

Ends Statement

Seward Co-op will sustain a healthy
community that has:
• Equitable economic relationships;
• Positive environmental impacts; and
•Inclusive, socially responsible
practices.

Values and Principles

International Cooperative Alliance:
Statement on the Cooperative Identity

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons
united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social,
and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned
and democratically controlled enterprise.

Values
Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help,
self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and
solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative
members believe in the ethical values of honesty,
openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Principles
The cooperative principles are guidelines by which
cooperatives put their values into practice.
1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
5th Principle: Education, Training and Information
6th Principle: Cooperation among Cooperatives
7th Principle: Concern for Community

Product Commitment

As a cooperative business, Seward Community Co-op exists to sustain a healthy community with two full-service grocery stores and a café. We are passionate about sourcing products from makers who share our values and that are the highest possible quality. We prioritize product selection using our Community Foods—Values Every Day program. In addition to the criteria for vendor selection that is part of Community Foods, we consider products for our shelves that are:

  • whole foods/minimally processed
  • meet specific dietary and/or cultural needs of Seward Co-op shoppers
  • certified organic
  • sourced from humanely treated animals
  • sourced from sustainable fisheries
  • fair trade
  • WIC compliant
  • Nourish staples

As a cooperative, we believe in the power of economic democracy. Rather than discontinuing a product line during a boycott, we encourage shoppers to vote with their dollars.

What is a co-op?

A cooperative is a legal business structure. However, people have been “cooperating” since long before the legal business structures existed. Cooperatives throughout history have formed in response to oppression—race, class, gender—and have thus been closely tied to other social movements throughout history.

Community Owned

In 2018, we welcomed nearly 1,500 new owners to our cooperative. Now more than 20,000 households are directly invested as member-owners in Seward Co-op’s success. As a cooperative community, we aspire not only to serve owners’ mutual needs but also to demonstrate that it is possible to cultivate a healthier and more equitable society. By working together, we see the co-op as a tool through which to support society’s need for greater racial equity.

Seward Co-op’s Scorecard was created in 2006 to share the effects of our business in numerous areas. The data points included demonstrate Seward Co-op’s progress in achieving its mission, or Ends Statement.

2018 Scorecard/Annual Report
Read quarterly Scorecard reports here:
July–Sept. 2018 | Oct.–Dec. 2018 | Jan.–March 2019 | April–June 2019

Socially Responsible Investment

When you join Seward Co-op, you join a community of more than 20,000 other Minneapolis households that own three businesses. One of the benefits of owning the co-op is the opportunity to invest more than your initial share requirement by purchasing Class C stock. Class C stock is an investment option with local impact. Investing in our co-op may be the most socially responsible investment you can make. You can walk in the door and see your money at work.