Find a Food Co-op Near You

This piece was last updated on February 9, 2019.

The sharing economy is getting a lot of media play these days with even our parents knowing about Uber and TaskRabbit. More and more food and drink related startups, including this seemingly improbable meat sharing app, are popping up left and right.

These ideas are far from new, though, and lucky for us, old school sharing concepts like food co-ops continue to thrive in Brooklyn.

A food co-op is a grocery store that is owned and operated by people in the local community, usually called members or member-owners. In contrast to a conventional grocery, co-op members all have equal stake in the operation, which is generally able to offer goods at substantially lower prices (think 20 percent above wholesale) because of this business model.

Additionally, members exercise greater direct autonomy over what’s served on their shelves with most co-ops offering certified organic, non-GMO and local products from some of the same vendors you’ll find at farmers markets and boutique grocers. As Joe Holtz, manager at the Park Slope Food Co-op (PSFC), insists: “A co-op is not looking to maximize profit but to maximize members satisfaction and build an institution where people work together”.

It used to be that Brooklynites had only a couple of co-ops to choose from, but demand for this type of operation has grown in recent years. Of course this business model has challenges just like any other, and depending on your lifestyle, work slots can be difficult to secure, rules can be complicated and the overall costs might not be worth the benefits. But in exchange for a few hours of labor or a slight markup (depends on the co-op), members have access to a bounty of products at a fraction of their average price, without all that annoying packaging waste We’re all about ways to save 20 to 40 percent — the average for many co-ops — on our regular grocery bill.

Resolving to cut your packaging waste? Priced out of the farmers market? Forgot to sign up for this season’s CSA? Check out the following list to find a co-op option near you.

Park Slope Food Co-op
782 Union St.; 718.622.0560
Can non-members shop here? No
Membership fee: $100 (additional $25 non-refundable joining fee)
Work requirement: 2 hours 45 minutes every 4 weeks
Hours: Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m., Saturday 6:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m., Sunday 6:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

The Park Slope Food Coop is one of the oldest and largest active food co-ops in the United States. Formed in 1973, PSFC has grown to include over 17,000 members. The PSFC has a stated interest in helping other co-ops get started, and to that end they allow members to work shifts at other co-ops for credit at Park Slope.

Flatbush Food Co-op
1415 Cortelyou Rd.; 718.284.9717
Can non-members shop here? Yes
Membership fee: $200
Work requirement: No work required
Hours: Every day; 6:00 a.m.–midnight

The Flatbush Food Co-op has been operating since 1976, and unlike PSFC, anyone can shop here. By becoming a member, though, you get to participate democratically in the business (voting for the board of directors, for example) and benefit from special members-only sales and discounts on some co-op events.

Greene Hill Food Co-op
1083 Fulton St. .; 718.208.4778
Can non-members shop here? No
Membership fee: They have 5 membership plans starting at $25
Work requirement: 2½ hours every 4 weeks.
Hours: Monday-Thursdayy 3:00–9:00 p.m.; Friday 3:00-7:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10:00–6:00 p.m.

The Greene Hill Food Co-op opened its storefront in December 2011. It’s a 100 percent working co-op, meaning that all members contribute two and a half hours of work every four weeks. If you’re already a member of the Park Slope Food Co-op, you can work shifts at Greene Hill for credit at Park Slope.

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What did you pick up on your grocery outing(s) this weekend? #Repost @sustainablesabs ・・・ My Sunday haul! This is the second time I’ve gotten tofu in the last month because @precyclenyc just started stocking it IN BULK 😱😱 They also have bulk balsamic (not pictured), miso paste, and sundried tomatoes that I picked up as well 🙂 the rest was from @bushwickfood and the coffee was from @brooklynroasting (the Peru blend is my absolute favorite). Since it’s gonna be Valentine’s Day soon, i also treated myself to some dark chocolate (in packaging, but that’s okay with me). Looking forward to all the good food I’ll be cooking up this week 🤗🤗 • • • #zerowaste #lowimpactmovement #wastefree #trashfree #plasticfree #nowaste #notrash #noplastic #reduce #reuse #recycle #repurpose #ecofriendly #sustainable #gogreen #yayforearth #reducewhatyouproduce #ourplanetourhome #zerowastecollective #vegan #whatveganseat #vegansofig #plantbased #plantstrong #haul #zerowastehaul

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Bushwick Food Co-op
2 Porter Ave.; 347.450.1087
Can non-members shop here? Yes
Annual membership fee: $150 refundable equity investmente, $25 fee registration fees
Work requirement: Yes, but varies dependent on membership.Hours: Sundayy–Thursdayy 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

Founded in 2009, the Bushwick Food Co-op runs a small storefront out of the Loom building. Non-members can shop there although the member price difference might just convince you to sign up.

Bay Ridge Food Co-op
7915 Ridge Blvd at 80th St..; 425; 347.274.8172
Can non-members shop here? No
Membership fee: $200
Work requirement: Approximately 4 hours per month
Hours: Check website for pickup times

Owned and operated by its members, the co-op is currently functioning as a buying club.. They distribute fresh organic and conventional produce and shelf-stable items (locally sourced where possible) approximately twice a month. They welcome anybody to visit the co-op and to shop up to three times before joining as a member. As their membership grows, their plan is to open a store.

Lefferts Community Food Co-op
324 Empire Blvd.; 201.472.0639
Can non-members shop here? No
Membership fee: $100 (additional $25 nonrefundable joining fee)
Work requirement: 2 hours 45 minutes every 4 weeks
Hours: Thursday 4-8:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Lefferts Community Food Co-op is one of Brooklyn’s newest. It uses uses the same member-worker approach as the Park Slope Food Co-op and, if you are a PSFC member, you can work your PSFC shifts here.

Windsor Terrace Food Co-op
825 Caton Ave.; 718.972.4600
Can non-members shop here? No
Membership fee: $100 for single shoppers, $175 for families
Work requirement: 1 to 2 hours per month
Hours: Monday 4:00-7:00 p.m; Thursday; 4:00–9:00 p.m.; Friday 9-11 a.m., and 4-7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

The Windsor Terrace Food Co-Op is also one of Brooklyn’s newest. They prioritize local sourcing and minimal processing, and they work with a New Jersey–based organic distributor and GrowNYC to accomplish these goals.

Coming Soon: The Brooklyn Movement Center is working towards creating a Central Brooklyn Food Co-op at 375 Stuyvesant Ave. Check out their website for updates.

Eleonore Buschinger, Claire Brown, Ariel Lauren Wilson and Bridget Shirvell contributed reporting to this piece.

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