George Street Co-op
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|Headquarters||New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States|
The George Street Co-op is a food cooperative located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The George Street Co-op runs a retail store at 89 Morris Street, selling foods and select hygiene and household products to the general public and to its membership. The Co-op, as it is known to its members, maintains a focus on offering vegetarian, organic, local food, naturally grown and fair trade products.
The George Street Co-op was formed in 1973 when ten people from the Rutgers Vegetarian Club started a buying club out of a garage near George Street in New Brunswick. A year later, the Co-op moved to a new building on George Street and opened a small retail store.
In May 1988 the George Street Co-op purchased and moved into a new building at 89 Morris Street. At this time, Co-op members debated renaming the organization, but after much consideration it was decided to keep the historic name.
Structure and governance
The George Street Co-op is wholly owned by its membership. Twice per year, a Membership Meeting is convened, with the Co-op's Board of Directors and all interested members present, to discuss overall policies and directions. With the Board as its proxy, the membership steers all George Street Co-op policy.
All George Street Co-op members receive a discount on retail items purchased in the Co-op store. In addition, members may choose to do labor in the store, in return for which they receive additional discounts. A member who works 2 hours per month receives an 8% discount, a member who works 8 hours per month receives a 15% discount, and a member who works 24 scheduled in-store hours per month receives a 25% discount. A non-working member receives a 2% discount.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of up to 12 members, elected to three-year terms by vote of the Co-op membership. The Board makes policy and strategy decisions, selects store management, and (subject to approval by membership vote) makes amendments to the Co-op bylaws. The Board meets on the second Monday of each month.
The Board runs a number of standing committees, dedicated to various priorities such as Finance, Membership, Orientation, Outreach, and Products.
A small paid staff performs the daily work at the store, with assistance from those members who volunteer as workers.
- Giampietro, Paolo. The Vegan Times. The Daily Targum. 14 April 2004.
- Heyman, Lois. Demand for organic food on the rise in Central Jersey. My Central Jersey. 1 March 2009.