Q. What is a food co-op and how is it different from a grocery store?
A: A food co-op is a non-profit, owner-controlled, democratic organization. At Karma, members work in the store, help decide what products we stock, and manage the co-op through our Board of Directors.
We are the owners of Karma. We’re not just a bunch of customers in a store – we’re members of a co-op and a community. That’s why we all work to take care of the store and contribute our time to the committees and the Board.
This makes the atmosphere at Karma very different from a normal grocery store. Relax in the members’ room, chat with the staff and members, or join a committee or the Board to get more involved.
Q. How do I join Karma?
A. Learn about how to join Karma here.
Q. What is the difference between flat-rated and percentage-rated memberships at Karma?
A: Percentage-rated members pay a 10% surcharge above the prices marked on the products. In other words, if a percentage-rated member buys $27.30 worth of products (excluding taxes), another $2.73 is added at the cash register. The members who do this are typically people who buy much less than $200 per month at the store and who do not have the time to work at Karma.
For members who want to work for Karma or who buy more than $200 per month and want to save some money, another alternative is to be a flat-rated member. Instead of paying 10% of purchases as a surcharge, such a member contributes either two hours of work or a $22 flat fee every month.
Q. If I choose to make a member loan, where does it go?
A. Each individual Karma member has the option to pay a fully refundable (without interest) loan of $100, either on joining or at any time thereafter. If you provide such a loan, you receive a $5 annual discount on the membership fee. Your loan is re-invested into Karma, and helps the co-op maintain financial flexibility.
Q. How big is Karma?
A. Karma has an active community of 1,000 members.