Green Top Grocery Co-op

GTG_logoThe idea for Green Top Grocery came about after seeing local farmers — those hard working people who are actually growing our food — unable to support their families with the limited places to sell their wares. Our local Farmers’ Markets are full of patrons who love locally grown food, but when Farmers’ Markets are done for the season, then what? A handful of people got together and decided a full-service grocery store providing locally sourced, sustainably raised food was what Bloomington-Normal needed. The idea quickly took hold, and today there are hundreds of owners, with more joining every week.

Green Top Grocery is a co-op which means it is owned, operated, and financed by its owners. Green Top Grocery will be owned by those who purchase shares (providing equity for the store). Ownership is open to all, and anyone can shop at the co-op regardless of whether they are an owner or not.

In many ways, a co-op grocery store is just like any other grocery store – it carries the range of products and offers many services found in a typical grocery store. The biggest difference is that a co-op grocery store is voluntarily owned and controlled by owners who purchase equity shares. Green Top Grocery will be operated for the benefit of the owners, to meet their mutual needs and values. The owners will make a formal decision on our values, but some common guiding principles of grocery cooperatives are:

  • Social responsibility
  • Support for local/organic/independent farmers and producers
  • Healthy foods and a healthy environment
  • Clear labeling and reliable information about products sold
  • Care of the community (making it a better place to live)
  • Creating good jobs that pay fair wages
  • Educating the community about healthy eating
  • Promoting food justice

The main purposes of the fund at Illinois Prairie Community Foundation are to purchase shares in the co-op for members of the community who cannot afford them and to provide outreach programs such as nutritional education, teaching kitchens, discount foodstuffs, a roving produce truck and other similar initiatives. Consider purchasing a share in the co-op by visiting Green Top Grocery and then make a tax-deductible gift to the fund here to support community outreach.