The Placerville Natural Foods Cooperative celebrated its first year anniversary Oct. 28.
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The Placerville Natural Foods Co-op (PNFC), located at 535 Placerville Drive in Placerville, opened its doors last year as a member-owned food cooperative serving the greater Placerville and El Dorado County area. After a long organizing effort and several years of negotiations, fundraising and membership drives, the fledgling group took over the former Noah’s Natural Foods on Placerville Drive back in October of 2011. PNFC has since grown from barely 200 members last year at this time, to over 600 member/owners today.
A member-owned food cooperative is a store that is owned by the people that shop there. Although anyone can shop at the PNFC, member/owners receive discounts on their purchases, elect the Board of Directors, and democratically participate in other aspects of operating the store and store policies. The tradition of consumer food cooperatives dates back over a hundred years to the original farm cooperatives established throughout the country to help farmers and others buy seed, fertilizer and equipment.
One of the core goals of PNFC is to develop relationships with local farmers and suppliers so that as much as possible, the goods and produce in the store are grown and produced locally, strengthening and increasing our local food economy and working to create a healthy and wholesome local food system that doesn’t rely on extensive shipping and transportation of goods.