Sandy Sterling

published Member Loan Pledges 2012-04-21 13:40:20 -0400

Member Loan Pledges

GOAL: $500,000.00

published Membership Form 2012-04-21 12:28:06 -0400

Membership Form

24 donors

To become a member of the Columbus Cooperative Grocery & Market, complete the form below. Once you've submitted your application you'll be redirected to PayPal to pay your one-time membership fee of $90.

We promise not sell or share your information with any other entity. The information you submit is secure, encrypted, and protected. This form is embedded in this website from a secure service called FormSmarts which uses SSL technology to pass your information securely to the web server.

Thank you for your support! And don't forget to tell others that you can submit your application and pay online via PayPal!

published What's a Co-op? in Why Join? 2012-04-21 11:51:29 -0400

What's a Co-op?

Co-ops (cooperatives) are member-owned and member-governed businesses that operate for the benefit of their members according to common principles agreed upon by the international cooperative community. In coops, members pool resources to bring about economic results that are unobtainable by one person alone.

Most grocery store cooperatives are consumer cooperatives, which means that they are owned by the people who shop at the stores. Members exercise their ownership by shopping in the store and voting in elections. The members elect a board of directors to hire, guide ,and evaluate the general manager who runs day to day operations.

While traveling down the aisles of your favorite grocery store, you most likely fill it with products from many cooperatives – Sunkist citrus, Blue Diamond Almonds, American Crystal Sugar, Riceland Rice, Cabot Cheese, Land O' Lakes products, and Welch's grape juice. From food, to housing, to childcare, to electricity, to credit unions, co-ops touch our lives every day. Take a look around you to see how many times your purchases benefit a cooperative.

Facts about Cooperatives

Click on the link above for a presentation given at the Indiana Cooperative Development Center Summit. 

Seven Cooperative Principles

1. Voluntary and Open Membership

2. Democratic Member Control

3. Member Economic ParticipationIMG_0652.jpg

4. Autonomy and Independence

5. Education, Training, & Information

6. Cooperative Among Cooperatives

7. Concern for Community

Co-ops by the Number

In the United States, there are more than 29,000 cooperatives with 120,000,000 memners. 

Cooperatives in the United States generate 2,000,000 jobs and make a substantial contribution to the economy of the United States with annual sales of $652,000,000,000 and assets of $3,000,000,000,000. 

Cooperatives are a major economic force in developed countries and a powerful business model in developing countries, employing approximately 100,000,000 people.  

There are millions of cooperatives, which are owned and governed by more than 1,000,000,000 members, operating in every nation of the world.  

The economic activity of the largest 300 cooperatives in the world is equal to that of the 10th largest national economy.  

Provided by the National Cooperative Business Association ---


published Home 2012-04-21 11:09:49 -0400

It's an owners only kick-off!

Our Columbus Food Co-op Board, Committees, Volunteers and Owners are working hard to open OUR Co-op! This celebration will mark the launch of our Owner Loan Campaign. Join us and get more location information, details on timelines, and educational materials about our Campaign.

Help us celebrate this momentous milestone making the Columbus Food Co-op a reality.

Heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be available as well as live music to help us celebrate.

Not an owner yet? Sign up today to get on the list!



Wed, September 13, 2017

5:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Add to Calendar


Columbus Food Co-op

1580 Central Avenue

Columbus, IN 47201

View Map





Meet the Mikrut Family who joined the co-op in 2015.

"Our family joined the co-op during the time when it was leasing the 25th Street location. We originally joined the 

co-op because I wanted to help bring a store to Columbus where I could purchase local, healthy, nutritious food

for my family year round.

However, since then it has meant much more to us in the friendships we've gained by becoming more involved 

with the efforts. More than just the potential for more local food and products, we love meeting and becoming

more acquainted with the owners of this growing co-operative".

- Andrea Mikrut





COLUMBUS, INDIANA—Columbus Food Co-op held their Annual Meeting Wednesday

evening, April 26, at Columbus City Hall. During the meeting, Dan Fleming, a member of the

Co-op Board and Chairman of the Site Selection Committee announced that the Co-op has

signed a Letter of Intent to occupy an 8,400 square foot space at 1580 Central Avenue. The

Letter of Intent was signed this week between the Food Co-op directors and landlords John

Counceller and Andrew Counceller.

“This is a great location for the Columbus Food Co-op. It is centrally located on a busy city

street. It is easily accessible by public transportation. There’s diversity in the surrounding

businesses. A real plus for the Co-op is that the landlords are also Co-op owners. John and

Andrew Counceller will be outstanding partners as we work to open the Co-op grocery store,”

said Mike Johnston, Board Chair of Columbus Food Co-op.

Columbus Food Co-op is a community-owned food cooperative working to bring a full-service

grocery store that provides more local and wholesome foods and products to Columbus and the

surrounding area. While not everything in the store is sourced locally, first year sales of local

food and products are estimated at $500,000, jumping to $2 million by year 10 of operation. The

location on Central Avenue is 8,400 square ft., providing 6,000 square ft. of retail space. An

initial store layout and design is being developed. Detailed project plans are under

development. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018 and the store is expected to open

in late 2018.

In addition to the store location, the Co-op announced three new staff additions:

Katie Novak, the Outreach Coordinator for Green Top Grocery in Bloomington, Illinois will act as

an advisor to the Owner Loan Campaign. Katie led Green Top’s successful Owner Loan

Campaign, which raised $1.5 million from their Owners and community partners.

April Williams of Columbus will join the team on May 1 as Owner Loan Campaign Coordinator.

April is a marketing and communications professional with a successful track record in

numerous Columbus initiatives. She has assisted multiple nonprofits in reaching their

development goals and most recently, as Development Director for the Columbus Park

Foundation, led capital projects including Race2play Park Improvements, People Trail

Expansion, Hamilton Ice Arena Renovation, and Columbike Bikeshare Program, raising over $4

million in community assets for the City of Columbus.

Anita Doyle has joined the team as Outreach Coordinator, a role previously held by SaraBeth

Drybread. Anita was born in Nuneaton, England and grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

She has experience in local economic development and business development. Among her

responsibilities, Anita will lead the Co-op’s Owner Growth initiatives, helping us reach our goal

of 1500 Owners by the time the store is opened in 2018.

For more information about our Columbus Food Co-op, how to join, or general questions, browse or find us on Facebook.


Where can I find my Co-op? 



What's happening? 

  • BIG NEWS: New site for the co-op was announced at the Annual Meeting on 4/26. 
  • The Hometown Food Guide is released! View the map & download the pdf directory of local farms in the Columbus area. 
  • Part of the path ahead is finding more and passionate volunteers. Do you care about the co-op like we do? Here is the volunteer form! We'd love to hear about what your interests and talents are. Everyone has special gifts they enjoy and it feels great when they are put to good use.  

About Columbus Food Co-op

We are a start-up working to bring a food cooperative to Columbus, Indiana! 
Mission: The Columbus Food Co-op will serve and strengthen the community by providing wholesome foods and products while practicing and encouraging sustainability.

Learn more:

Food Co-ops are on the Rise

"There is a growing thirst among consumers to vote with their dollar and to buy from places where business is being done fairly..." 

A Food Co-op in Your Community

A great 10 minute video to learn about the true difference and value in a food co-op.


published Why Join? 2012-04-21 11:04:41 -0400


Columbus Food Co-op is modeled on Bloomingfoods in most ways including its membership program. For a one-time $90 member-share, you help create this wonderful cooperative grocery in Columbus, Indiana! Join the effort to connect our community and surrounding ones with healthy choices, locally grown produce, and natural and organic products unavailable in most other groceries in Columbus.

Recognizing that $90 is not necessarily readily available for many of us at one time, we have arranged for members to make the payments in three installments. The time limit for payments is one year. We look forward to assisting anyone who would like to make an arrangement. You may simply indicate this on your membership application.

The cooperative is a not-for-profit that will promote community support in a way that no other grocery store or market does! Examples include: support for the arts, local not-for-profits, healthy communities agenda, education about nutrition and health choices, potential cooking classes using seasonal produce and locally grown produce and meats, support of local growers, vendors and suppliers.

Print Member Application Here


Why Join Now?

Every successful co-op starts with committed member/owners. Your membership will empower us to secure our business plan with local financial institutions and investors and with making a site location commitment. We currently have 876 member-owners! ISphoto.jpg

  • What are Member/Owner Benefits?
  • Member Discount Days
  • Member Appreciation Days
  • Community Partner Discounts
  • Pre-Order Discounts
  • Possible Community Grants
  • Monthly Natural Foods Newsletter
  • Patronage Refund
  • Co-op Governance

Terms and Conditions of Membership

  • I agree that only persons living in my household will use this membership.
  • I certify that I am at least 18 years of age.
  • I understand that the “Legal Member of Record” is the person to whom all official co-op mailings are addressed, who is the official voting member in all co-op elections, and who receives any and all monies potentially disbursed, including patronage rebates and a refund of equity.
  • I understand that full rights of membership are granted upon full payment. Payment is to be completed within one year of the date below. If payment is not complete by then, all monies paid toward the purchase may be refunded, minus a $25 service charge.
  • If I do not make a purchase for three or more years, and if I do not request a refund of my membership equity, and if I do not provide the cooperative with my current address for three consecutive years, my membership may be canceled and my membership equity donated to Columbus Food Co-op (CFC).
  • I understand that this application for membership is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of the CFC.

Bylaws of the Columbus Cooperative Market

Support from the West Coast

The following is a letter that one of members, from Eugene, Oregon, wrote to her friends to encourage them to support our initative here in Columbus.  Several of Lucy's friends responded and put their money together to purchase a "Friends of the Indiana Farm" membership.  Thanks to Lucy and friends for encouragment from across the country! 

Dear friends,
     Most of you are aware of my efforts towards supporting nature at my farm in Indiana.  Eventually I would hope organic and sustainable farming could come to this part of our Earth including my little farm.  Some of you have expressed the wish to help me in this project.  I thank you for your offer, and wonder if others are interested.
    Many initiatives are needed to support sustainable farming and preservation of nature in this particular place:  public awareness of its importance, local markets for organic produce, local organic feed for animals, and local organic soil amendments.  We are so accustomed to the markets and information available to us on the West Coast that we may not realize the need in other places.
    At this point I feel that my farm/nature/heartland efforts can best be supported by reaching out to an initiative for a Co-op in the nearby town of Columbus.  The brave souls in this initiative are bringing public awareness of the harm caused by industrial farming and of alternatives to industrial farming.  They are establishing a local organic market in Columbus which will be an outlet for organic farmers, and provide good food to local people.
    GMO crops, residual herbicides, chemical fertilizers are the norm here.  At present I am aware of only 2 organic efforts in 4 counties.  I’ve attached a recent newsletter from the Co-op.  You could contribute to them directly (membership is $90,) or I could combine several small contributions into a group membership from the West Coast/ North West.  I love the idea of the West Coasters / North Westerners supporting brothers and sisters working for the renewal of the Heartland.
    Please let me know if this idea sparks your interest too.