Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Co-op?
As defined by the International Co-Op Alliance, a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. Using this methodology, the KCFC plans to open a cooperative grocery store. Not to be confused with a CSA, the KCFC project will result in a member-owned and operated healthy grocery store with departments like dry goods, refrigerated goods, prepared foods, frozen food, produce, bulk foods, health and beauty products, beverages, coffee, tea, desserts, household products, etc.
When and how did you get started?
The co-op started in 2008 with a handful of neighbors who wanted healthy and quality food. Read more about our story.
What does becoming a member-owner mean and how do I sign up?
By becoming a member, you will be an owner of the store and will have a say in how the store is run. To become a member, there is a one-time investment of $200. Payment plans are available if $200 upfront is more than your budget can handle at this time. Become a member online or sign up at one of our community events.
What are the benefits to being a member?
  • Add your voice into the project planning and vision
  • Have a say and a vote in what the store sells, and how the store is operated
  • Receive discounts, including from our Shop Local Program
  • Receive rebates from profits once the store is profitable.

Read more about benefits of membership.

Why should I become a member now, before the store is open?
Without KCFC member-owner investments, there will be no store. We can’t make it happen without you. The path to opening the store starts with a large membership base, which will support the next steps in the financial plan, including the member loan campaign and securing bank financing.
Is there a work requirement?
There is currently not a work requirement. There is, however, a working member discount available. By volunteering 2 hours per month, you receive a 10% discount at Marketplace.
Do I have to be a member to shop at the co-op or at the KCFC Marketplace?
Although there will be benefits to membership, the Co-op will be open to the public. Until the store opens, KCFC holds a monthly grocery operation where members and non-members can purchase fresh, local produce and dry bulk items at great prices. We currently hold the Marketplace on the 4th Tuesday of every month from 6-8pm at Circle of Hope (upstairs, 2009 Frankford Ave). Members who volunteer 2 hours per month on the KCFC project receive a 10% discount at the Marketplace. To receive emails about what’s for sale at Marketplace subscribe to our newsletter. For more information about volunteering here or with other KCFC events, please email info@kcfc.coop.
Who runs the KCFC?
KCFC is member-owned and operated. Over the past several years, dozens of volunteers have spent thousands of hours preparing to open the co-op by serving on KCFC committees (Membership, Media and Marketing, Planning and Finance, Hiring, Grocery Operations [GO Team]), on the KCFC board of directors, and assisting with special projects and events. Additionally, many experts have provided services pro bono, saving KCFC tens of thousands of dollars to date. From time to time, KCFC employs consultants who have expertise in areas such as financial planning, construction, and the law. In the near future, KCFC will hire a General Manager to help set up and run the store, and once the store is open, additional paid positions will be available. However, the backbone of the Co-op will always depend on the commitment and energy of our volunteer force. For more information about volunteering, please email info@kcfc.coop.
How can I help the KCFC?
Besides becoming a member-owner, you can become a part of the process by volunteering on one of our committees or volunteering to help with special events and projects. We encourage individuals with or without specialized skills to participate. There are volunteer opportunities related to human resources, marketing and promotion, business finance and grassroots organizing. For more information about volunteering, please email info@kcfc.coop.
What neighborhoods do you serve?
Our members hail from various parts of the city and region, but the greatest density of member households is in the neighborhoods of the River Wards: Fishtown, Kensington, Richmond, and Northern Liberties.
Do you have regular membership meetings?
Members and non-members are welcome to attend the General Membership Meetings which occur twice annually. Members are not required to attend, however, we encourage members to attend and bring others who may be interested in receiving updates or asking questions about the Co-op project. There are also several other meetings every year to make special announcements and update members and the public on the project. Information on meeting dates, times, and locations can be found on our events page and on the KCFC Facebook page.
When will the store open and where will it be located?
In 2012, the KCFC site-search committee was formed, including local experts in construction, real estate, architecture and design. This committee began scouting dozens of sites in the 19125 area. New construction was considered as well. There were extensive conversations with developers. The buildings (and building sites) were evaluated for their suitability for use as a grocery store. In summer 2013, a specific site was targeted, supporters were identified, and negotiations began. In 2014, we signed a lease for the former O’Reillys Pub and adjacent 18-car parking lot located at 2666-2672 Coral Street, at the intersection of Frankford, Coral and Lehigh. It will cost approximately $1.9 million to open the store, fill the shelves, and staff it. We currently have $400,000 left to raise. You can help by becoming a member today (and asking your friends and neighbors to join) and making a loan.
Is it true the KCFC has a liquor license?
There is a liquor license attached to the property which makes the site unique and promises to attract people and build camaraderie at the Co-op space. It is a Restaurant License that allows for full service of beer, wine, and spirits. Take out of beer is allowed also in limited quantities---two six packs per patron. We are hoping to have an on-site cafe. We are currently brainstorming the vision for the cafe, but we know of the love for local and regionally brewed beer in the area. Read more about the store site.
How will the project be funded?
Funding is anticipated from various sources:
  • Member Equity via $200 per household
  • Loans from members, via a KCFC member loan campaign
  • Bank financing
  • City and State resources
  • Capital supporters like The Reinvestment Fund

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