Community Post

Central Co-op Board seeks local community members to help oversee community-owned & operated co-op


Central Co-op is dedicated to a healthy local food system, and to being a great community grocery. Support our work by running for our Board of Trustees!

Central Co-op is owned and directed by members of the community, keeping us rooted in our common values and accountable to our stakeholders. Our owners have the opportunity to help vision for the co-op’s future by serving on the Board of Trustees.

Every September, our ownership elects three new members to three-year terms on the board. These volunteer trustees strategize for the co-op’s future, oversee the general manager, and approve our budget. It’s election season, and we’re on the lookout for the folks in our community who are up for this satisfying challenge.


Central Co-op is a cooperative grocery located at the intersection of 16th Avenue & East Madison Street, where Capitol Hill meets the Central District. We’re dedicated to sustainable practices, community accountability, and the local food economy.

Thirty-five years ago, a hundred people opened Central Co-op to provide themselves with humane and wholesome food. Since then, we’ve used our collective strength to leverage our voice in the food system, keep more of our dollars in the community, and align with grassroots organizations to help forge meaningful social and environmental change. Now, 12,000 people co-own Central Co-op, proving that communities can make and sustain institutions that meet their own needs.


The Board of Trustees is the governing body who carries out supervision and decisionmaking on behalf of those 12,000 owners. The board meets monthly, and trustees also serve between meetings, carrying out board work, participating in development and strategizing sessions, and occasionally travelling for related events.

The board also works with three committees, working groups made up of owners, workers, and trustees. Committees look into specific issues, and develop policy recommendations for the board on those issues. All trustees are required to serve on at least one committee, and committees also meet monthly and require some work between meetings.


Qualities like these can make a trustee a great asset to our co-op:

    • Willingness to work closely and collaboratively with the other trustees;
    • Commitment to fulfilling the required term and to giving the time and energy needed to accomplish the board’s objectives;
    • The ability to learn quickly and to consider complex issues with an open and thoughtful mind;
    • Communication and organizational skills;
    • Prior board experience (helpful, though not required);
    • Connection to the communities we serve, to help the co-op reflect the perspectives and needs of our owners.


All candidates must be active owners in good standing. An active owner has an account in their name, has shopped at the co-op in the previous twelve months, and is either paid in full or has made an equity payment in the previous 60 days. (A share of Central Co-op equity costs $60, and most people pay that off in $5 monthly installments. Learn more about ownership here.)


To apply, you must complete the following by July 14, 2013:
1. Submit your application
2. Attend at least one full board meeting
3. Attend at least one committee meeting.


Come visit a meeting or two, and see how our current trustees do it. Your next chance to check out how our board works and satisfy application requirement #2 is this Tuesday, June 11th. There’s another Board meeting on Tuesday, July 9, and committee meetings happen almost every other Tuesday. Check out our calendar for more details and dates.

You can find the application and a whole bunch more information here. If your version of Adobe doesn’t support our application, here’s a Word version.

If you have any questions, contact the Owner Involvement Committee at [email protected].

Thanks so much for owning your co-op!

Comments are closed.