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July 30th, 2013 | By Alicia Silverstone

If you’re in Los Angeles this summer, please take some time to visit the Co-Opportunity Natural Foods Market in Santa Monica for fresh organic juices and local organic produce! Alicia shops at this store when she’s in the area and co-ops are cool.

The cool thing about Co-Ops is that they’re actually owned by their community. They offer annual membership with special discounts for members only (but you can shop there whether or not you’re a member). Members share a common passion for good food, good community and a lot of great benefits, not least of which is knowing they are supporting a more sustainable way of life.  Co-Ops strive to make a difference in the health and well being of their members, shoppers and community and supports the sustainability of the environment. They promote certified organic products and GMO-free items, while encouraging manufacturers to include more organically grown ingredients in their products as well. They also believe that by supporting local farmers, craftspeople, and other local businesses, they can help to improve our community.

The Co-Opportunity Natural Foods Market’s unique history began back in 1974, where four founders started the market out of a tiny garage in West Los Angeles. As the ownership ranks swelled, the Co-op quickly outgrew the confines of the cramped garage and relocated to a proper storefront on Santa Monica Blvd.  Finding a new storefront was a challenge – more owners meant more viewpoints to consider. After much deliberation a final consensus was reached—the Co-op would move to Santa Monica from its previous location in West L.A. to a small place on 16th and Broadway, a quiet, commercial-industrial area in Santa Monica.  Today, they’re a thriving Cooperative with deep roots in the community.  They’ve just recently undergone a major makeover of not only their physical location, but their operations in general.  It’s amazing how the vision of four founding owners operating out of a tiny garage has evolved into a thriving Co-op with more than 11,000 owners! Click the link if you’re interested in joining the Co-Opportunity Natural Foods market.

Do you belong to a local Co-Op? Are there any great Co-Ops near you?

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