About The Co-op

Serving the North Country community since 1973

About The Co-op

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.
Owner households and counting
(as of March 2024)

Definition of a Cooperative

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

8 Cooperative Principles:

1. Open and Voluntary Membership

2. Democratic Member Control

3. Members’ Economic Participation

4. Autonomy and Independence

5. Education, Training, and Information

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

7. Concern for Community

8. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


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 Owners. The Carriage House Bakery was established on the property in 2002.

The Potsdam Food Co-op is a democratic enterprise that is governed by its Owners. All profits generated by the business must be returned to the 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 owners accept the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

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

An elected Board of Directors represents the 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.

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