What is a Cooperative? A cooperative (or co-op) is a not-for-profit business that belongs to the people who use it, meaning that it is owned and operated for the benefit of those using its services. Cooperatives are democratically controlled, volunteer-run, and member-owned. This means that the co-op truly has their customers' best interests at heart in the way that they operate their business. According to a 2012 survey, co-ops are also preferred by many for their excellent customer service. Co-ops out-performed for-profit businesses for all of the following qualities:
- Run their business in a trustworthy manner
- Have the best interests of customer in mind
- Are committed to providing the highest quality of service to their customers
- Provide products that are of high value
- Can be counted on to meet their customers needs
- Offer fair, competitive prices
This October is National Co-Op Month, celebrating nearly 30,000 co-ops across the country and all they has done for local communities across the country. This is a great opportunity to recognize Local First Arizona cooperative members!
Cooperative Local First Members:
coLAB Studio, LLC - Founded in 1999, our studio strives to be a cooperative-laboratory (co-lab) for art and architecture, bringing ideas together, and blurring the line that would normally define one discipline as separate from another.
Food Conspiracy Co-op - A natural foods market, cooperatively owned by its members and open to the public. Since 1971 we have been committed to providing the highest quality natural and organic foods and products to the Tucson community. (Join this month and get a $10 gift card!)
Four Eight Wineworks - Northern Arizona's First Wine makers Co-Operative. An incubator for the driven on their quest not only to survive,but to make their mark in our fledgling wine region.
Gila Farms Cooperative - Gila Farm Cooperative is a group of refugee farmers resettled in Central Arizona. The 27-acre farm where Gila Farm Cooperative primarily raises crops is located in Pinal County, just south of Phoenix.
Many Hands Artist Cooperative - MHAC is a group of local Tucson artists and artisans working, teaching, showing and selling their wares.
Mesa Arts Center Artists Cooperative - A juried group of 60 Arizona artists make up the MAC Artists Co-op and offer their unique, locally made paintings, pottery, jewelry, glass, scarves, photography and other art in the MAC Store.
On the Edge Artists Gallery - On The Edge Gallery is an artists’ cooperative, the first of its kind in Scottsdale. Over forty Arizona artists display original fine art and unique gift items in this airy 2,000-square-foot gallery, “on the edge” of the arts district in Old Town Scottsdale.
Tucson Clay Co-op - We are a pottery cooperative which offers classes to adults and children in handbuilding, wheel throwing.
Arizona State Credit Union Canyon State Credit Union Credit Union West Desert Schools Credit Union Hughes Federal Credit Union MariSol Federal Credit Union TruWest Credit Union Tucson Federal Credit Union Vantage West Credit Union
Are you a member of any Arizona co-ops? Let us know in the comments!