picture of wellness fair in the co-op cafe

About Us

All are welcome to shop the Brattleboro Food Co-op. We are community owned and welcome you to join as a Co-op Shareholder and invest in a locally owned business that delivers a deep community impact and offers great food.
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History of The Co-op

The Brattleboro Food Co-op began as a small buying club in 1975. Many remember its first home on Flat Street, where the Vermont Center for Photography is today. In 1988, we moved to a building in the rear of the parking lot. After an extensive redevelopment project, we re-opened in our current location in June 2012.

A Beautiful Anchor of Downtown Brattleboro

Currently, the Co-op is a 14,580-square-foot natural foods market and deli encompassing the ground floor of a four-story building.

The second floor is home to our business offices, a commissary kitchen, a cooking classroom, a community room, and a conference room. The building also houses 24 apartments owned and managed by the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.

Our beautiful building resulted from a collaboration with the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Housing Vermont, and now a beautiful anchor of downtown Brattleboro. It boasts many environmentally friendly features, such as reutilizing refrigeration waste heat to heat apartments and the store, an array of solar panels on the roof, and more.

Community Owned Business

Over 9,000 active shareholders currently own the Co-op. As a community-owned business, an important goal is to be an open and welcoming marketplace for everyone in the community and beyond.

The Co-op is now nearly half a century old and is proud and humbled to be such a dynamic presence in downtown Brattleboro. The store has become well-loved as a community meeting place (especially in the café, which often has live music from local musicians).

It is easily accessible to travelers and tourists as it’s right across the street from the Amtrak train station and around the corner from the bus transit. Locals and vacationers truly enjoy the attractions and unique shopping nearby, as well as landmarks such as the historic Lachis Hotel and movie theater and the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

A Welcoming Community

We are all about the food. But that’s not the whole story. We strive to provide the best and highest quality foods (many local and organic) at reasonable prices. We strive to make your shopping experience a relaxed and friendly visit.

Freshly Made and Produce

The foods available at our Co-op include fresh, local, and organic cheese, meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy product, bread, maple syrup, and honey. We offer fresh seafood, BFC-made deli salads and sandwiches, and BFC-made chicken and pork sausages.

Organic and Healthy Products

 Our Bulk department is chock full of dry goods (sugar, flour, beans, rice, etc.), coffee beans, teas, spices, nuts, and dried fruit. We have a full grocery department, including locally delivered bread. Our Frozen & Dairy aisles have traditional frozen and dairy finds, but we also offer many non-dairy, non-traditional, gluten-free, and vegan products.

International and Locally Produce

 The Beer & Wine department has a fantastic selection of wines, local beers, and hard ciders. Vermont is home to many small breweries and distilleries, many of which we carry at the Co-op. Our Housewares & Gifts department offers the best finds anywhere for cooking, gifting, and enjoying life in Vermont.
Our amazing and knowledgeable staff are always available and happy to assist you in any way possible.
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Customer Reviews

Check out what our customers have to say about the Co-op! We encourage all feedback, it helps us improve and become a more welcoming community marketplace.
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What’s a Co-op?

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

Simply put, a cooperative is a business owned by the people who shop it and operate for its members' benefit. Regardless of the goods and services provided, co-ops aim to meet their member’s needs. Shareholders or members exercise ownership by patronizing the store and voting in elections. The members elect a board of directors to hire, guide and evaluate the general manager who runs the day-to-day operations.

Cooperative Principles and Ends Policies

Consumer co-ops trace their origins back to a small store in Rochdale, England, over 150 years ago. Those co-op pioneers developed the original ideals for cooperatives. Today co-ops worldwide, including the Brattleboro Food Co-op, are guided by seven principles based on those original ideals.

These cooperative principles help us remember who we are, what we are trying to do, and how we’ve agreed to do it.

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training, and Information
  • Cooperation Among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community

Consumer cooperatives are very different from privately owned “discount clubs,” which charge annual fees in exchange for a discount on purchases. The “club” is not owned or governed by the “members,” and the business profits go to the investors, not to members. In a cooperative, the members own the business, and the profits are returned to the community and its members.

All cooperatives adhere to the principles of cooperation based on the practices of the first successful consumer cooperative in Rochdale, England (founded in 1844). There are consumer and producer co-ops (usually agricultural) and worker-owned cooperatives. There is also housing, health care (the original HMOs were co-ops), and financial co-ops (credit unions). The overall goal of the cooperative movement is to create organizations that serve the needs of the people who use them. Cooperative businesses provide goods and services in a way that keeps community resources in the community.

The Brattleboro Food Co-op, an organization modeled on cooperative values and principles, exists to serve its shareholders’ collective needs for:

  • An open, inclusive and welcoming marketplace
  • Access to and education about goods and nutritious food that are ecologically sound and responsibly sourced
  • An organization that contributes to a just and resilient local economy
  • An enterprise that engages in sustainable and regenerative environmental practices

Commitment to Community

The Co-op’s model includes its collaborative programs with area non-profit organizations. These partnerships result in many community events and educational classes, including cooking classes for children and adults, activities, and river clean-ups.

The Co-op endorses local non-profit organizations through its “Round Up for Change” program. Two local not-for-profit organizations are selected monthly to benefit from shopper generosity who “round up” to the nearest dollar during checkout. This donation is split equally between the featured organizations each month.

Learn More

Available Resources at the Co-op

Community Tabling at the Co-op

If you are interested in setting up a table in our entryway vestibule to promote your not-for-profit organization and its events or programs, you may do so at no charge. We do allow organizations with religious or political associations.

Community Room Rental

The Co-op’s Community Room is available to anyone in the community for small parties, events, meetings, and presentations. The use of the Community Room is available at no cost to shareholders. You may rent the Community Room for a nominal fee. The occupancy limit is 23 people.
To reserve the Community Room, book a Tabling, or for more information, please contact Shareholder Services:
Before your event, a completed Community Room Use & Guidelines, or Tabling Policies, must be returned to Shareholder Services.