If you shop at Just Food, appreciate their presence in the community, and are not yet an owner-member, consider this a personal invitation to become one. It's a great way to help ensure the co-op's financial stability, which not only benefits you as a shopper but also supports the local farmers and other food producers who provide much of the co-op's produce and other fresh food.
It's not like the '70s and '80s, when co-op membership meant store discounts in exchange for actually working at the store a few hours a month. The way it works now is that you simply purchase shares in the co-op. In exchange -- on top of the satisfaction of supporting a store that you value -- you get case discounts, member specials, voting rights at the annual meeting, a monthly newsletter, and more. Visit www.justfood.coop and click on Membership to find out more. There is a downloadable membership application, which you can fill out and bring into the store. The application form outlines options for paying the $125 cost in a single payment or in quarterly payments over the course of a year, which makes the cost quite manageable even to those on a tight income. You may also opt to give a gift membership.
I borrowed the image at the top of this post from a website, The Northfield Food System, I stumbled upon recently that reports on three major Northfield food suppliers from the perspective, at least in part, of their support for local food producers. It appears to have been an Environmental Studies course project by St. Olaf College student Jason Hendricks. The introduction concludes:
With farm bought foods giving way to frozen foods, the average consumer cannot help but lose their sense of place in the food system. It is no longer apparent where your food was grown and what was put into it. This web page will seek to discover how Northfield has responded to the loss of its rural identity, and whether a sense of locality has been retained through its food system.As you'll see, Just Food emerges as the hero in this particular story. If you're looking for a sense of place in the food system, Just Food is where you'll find it in Northfield (along with the farmers market, of course). I encourage you to give it your support.