About The Co-op

Serving the North Country community since 1972

About The Co-op


The Potsdam Co-op has come a long way since its beginning as a Buying Club in 1972.

Our Co-op has been dedicated to meeting the community's need for specialty and whole foods ever since it opened its retail doors in 1973. As a consumer cooperative, The Potsdam Co-op exists for the benefit of the people who use it.

The Co-op has had several locations in Potsdam. The current Elm Street location was purchased in 1992 by the Member-Owners. The Carriage House Bakery was established on the property in 2002.

The Potsdam Food Co-op is a democratic enterprise that is owned and governed by its Member-Owners. All profits generated by the business must be returned to the Member-Owners. This is achieved either directly or via improvements to the shared enterprise. Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Cooperative members accept the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Anyone can become a Member-Owner. While Member-Owners enjoy special benefits, non-members are welcome to shop at the Co-op.

An elected Board of Directors represents the Member-Owners. The Board operates under Policy Governance; the Board of Directors establishes policies, which are interpreted by the General Manager and carried out by the staff of the store and monitored by the Board of Directors.

Member-owner households and counting

Mission & Values

The Potsdam Consumer Cooperative, Incorporated is owned and operated by its members and is dedicated to meeting the community’s need for specialty and whole foods at the lowest possible cost.

As a member of the local community interested in its well being, we use local sources whenever feasible. We provide a pleasant shopping experience and working environment. An emphasis is placed on education, shared information and developing our relationship with the community. An encouragement of environmental respect is shown through the goods we sell and in the manner in which we conduct our daily operations.

We are committed to providing a model of responsible business practices based on the cooperative principles of open membership, democratic control, limited return on share capital or investments, return of surplus to members, continuous education, cooperation among cooperatives, and concern for our local community.

Definition of a Cooperative

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

Ends Policies

The Potsdam Food Co-op exists so that:

  • Everyone in our community has reliable access to local, organic, and healthy food.
  • North Country farmers and producers have a stable, honest, and robust marketplace.
  • Customers have a welcoming place to shop, interact, and participate at many levels.
  • Community members have a model of environmentally respectful practices and cooperative ownership.
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