What is the
Monashee Community Co-op is a grocery store located in Lumby, British Columbia. The Co-op carries a wide array of grocery staples and specializes in local, organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO food, including fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, dairy products and non-dairy options, healthy junk food and frozen desserts, baked goods and more. Learn more about the products the Co-op carries.
Monashee Community Co-op is a proud member of the BC Co-op Association. The Co-op is staffed by caring and dedicated volunteers who work to ensure the products are ethically and environmentally responsible, and also local when possible. Although we are small, we are competitive with big business grocery stores elsewhere and help our community reduce its carbon footprint by buying in Lumby instead of driving to Vernon.
Vision & Mission Statements
Vision: Our community will have the knowledge and opportunity to access an abundance of local, safe, healthy food and household products through a caring association that demonstrates leadership in sustainable practices.
Mission: To educate and support our community by providing local, healthy, environmentally and ethically responsible food and products.
Slogan: Nourishing A Local Economy.
In 2013, passionate Lumby residents came together to discuss how to serve the growing community interest in buying organic food products in bulk at lower prices than retail stores in Vernon. Meetings were held with growers, producers and consumers. Soon after, the group was offered the use of what is now the Emporium, rent-free for 3 months. There was now space to sell surplus produce from the bulk orders.
Monashee Community Co-op became incorporated in the summer of 2014. In 2015, the Co-op moved our storefront to 1965 Shuswap Avenue. Membership grew to over 260 and annual sales topped $150,000. In 2016, the Co-op modified its original incorporation status and became a Community Service Co-operative. This meant that all profits were to be returned to the Co-op itself for further growth. By the end of the year, membership had expanded to 326 members including 44 active local vendors.
2017 saw a greater public recognition when the Co-op won the Chamber of Commerce award for Best Retailer, and sales reached $250,000.
In 2018, The Co-operators Insurance provided a generous grant which funded a 3-Year Strategic Plan for business development and marketing. An additional RDNO grant supported a capital expenditure for a new produce cooler, and the Co-op won a Chamber of Commerce Award again, this time for Best Green Retailer.
In 2019 our Co-op celebrated its 5th Anniversary, with over 500 members and our first paid employee and new freezers to better service our members and the community at large. In 2020, our sales soared to over $500,000 and membership grew to 707. This is due to the incredible support of Lumbyites and the surrounding areas for locally produced wholesome foods and crafts. We hired 3 more people and although we lost a lot of volunteers due to Covid, there is now a resurgence.
Monashee Community Co-op is directed by a Board and supported by its membership. Our Co-op also nourishes the wider community by caring, educating and learning from each other. Our members are proud to be following the path of the original cooperative movement pioneers (Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in 1844 in the UK).
7 Principles of a Co-operative
The values of interdependence, responsibility, democracy, equality, and mutual support are important to us as a co-op. We believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, caring for others and fairness in treatment of all matters and so we follow the seven principles of a co-operative:
- Voluntary & open membership
- Democratic member control
- Member economic participation
- Autonomy & independence
- Education, training & information
- Co-operation among co-operatives
- Concern for Community