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.