Social coordination at the food coop

While being in Brooklyn, NY, I visited the Park Slope Food Coop, established in 1973. I only visited, because in order to buy something, you have to be a member. I could actually only enter the Coop in the first place, because Mikey, with whom I explored Brooklyn, is a member. In the upstairs office we had to identify ourselves after which I received a visitor card. Downstairs, I had to give the card to one of the two persons guarding the entrance. It was quite an intense experience, but the coop had more strict policies like this, needed to prevent that people take advantage. With only a 21% mark up across the board, good and mostly local and organic food is relatively cheap here. This is possible because the food coop is a not for profit organization in which 75% of the work is done by members themselves. So almost all persons I saw working are members; upstairs taking our identification, downstairs guarding the entrance, the cashiers, the people who walk you to the car and take the shopping cart back, all were members. Mikey works a three hour shift every four weeks in the basement, unpacking incoming supply and sending it up to the shopping floor. With over 14.000 members, this coop is an astonishing example of intense level of social coordination which pays off to all its members.

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