All are welcome! You don't have to be a member to shop.

Where We Live, Where We're Looking, What We Want

Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and South Philly is no exception. From Pennsport to Point Breeze, Italian Market to Girard Estates, Hawthorne to Newbold, each neighborhood within the larger South Philly community has its own personality, flavor and identity.

One thing that binds us all together is the South Philly Food Co-op! If you've ever wondered where your 660+ fellow member-owners call home, here's a peek at our current member map:


As you can see, we're not simply clustered along East Passyunk Avenue. To that end, the parameters of our search for a permanent location reflect the geographic diversity of our membership. Here's exactly where we're looking:


We can't confirm a location just yet, but rest assured that even if the Co-op is in a neighborhood other than your own, we're doing our best to ensure it's easily accessible by car, bike, foot and public transportation -- so that all of our members, and all of South Philly as a whole, can feel welcome to enter our doors.

Speaking of which, what will the Co-op carry? Our community members let their voices be heard in this recent Product Preferences Survey, in which folks expressed their interest in local, affordable and sustainable options. Check out the full results of the survey here!


Spring General Membership Meeting Recap

Thanks to all who attended last week’s Spring General Membership Meeting, to the East Passyunk Community Recreation Center for hosting us, and and to South Philly Barbacoa for the delicious snacks! 

Coop Meeting

Missed the meeting? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a recap of what we discussed:

State of the Co-op:

The search for a space continues, and as we have said previously, given the inventory and pricing of today's South Philadelphia real estate market, opening a successful co-op will mean finding a development partner who is as dedicated to and passionate about this community as we are. The great news is that we are in conversation with such a partner, about an extremely promising space to call our home.

We are farther along in the negotiation process than the Co-op has ever been before. We've been down this road before (although never quite this far) and things haven't worked out, so nothing is final yet. We'll share more details when we can, so stay tuned!

In financial news, the Co-op generated $5,393 in net income this fiscal year and has $144,055 in total assets. The Board has also engaged local business consultants Elysian Fields to further refine the Co-op’s financial models.

Board Election Results:

Thanks to all who made your voices heard in this year’s Board Elections. Congratulations to returning board members Jessica Calter, Angel D’Ippolito, Alison Fritz, Anna Kiesel, Matt Stern and to brand new board members Katy Travaline and Emily Wyner! And of course, a big thank you to our outgoing board members, Josh Richards and Anna Shipp, for your hard work over the years!

Introducing the South Philly Blend:

Coffee Program

This smoky, savory blend of South and Central American coffee with chocolate undertones is now available through our new buying club partnership with Philly Fair Trade Roasters. Pick up your coffee monthly at Cinemug starting June 16th.  Try it out for just a month, or commit to 3 or 6 months for additional savings. Sales benefit the South Philly Food Co-op and member-owners get $1 off per 1-pound bag, so place your order today!

Product Preferences Survey Results:

The results of our Product Preferences Survey are in with over 160 responses! As a cooperative store, our member-owners will decide what we carry and how we source it.  At the meeting, we dug into how our members eat and shop, and what concerns them most when choosing their groceries (hint: local, fresh, high-quality products at reasonable prices).  To see the full results of the survey, click here.

New Member (Or just want to get more involved)?: 

Attend our upcoming New Member Orientation on June 8. Click here for details and to RSVP.


Product Preferences Survey Results

The results of our Product Preferences Survey are in with over 160 responses! As a cooperative store, our member-owners will decide what we carry and how we source it.  In this survey, we dug into how our members eat and shop, and what concerns them most when choosing their groceries. 

See the full results of the survey here.



May 2016 Newsletter: Let your voice be heard. Let your vote be counted.

May is here, the sun is out (finally), and it's time for our Spring General Membership Meeting! This gathering has been months in the making, and we've got a ton to share. We hope you'll be there in person on May 25 as we:

  • Present the results of our Product Preferences Survey, through which 160+ folks (both members and not-yet-members) weighed in on how we envision our future store;

  • Report on the state of the Co-op, from our current financials to the recent work we've done with local business consultants to position us to find a great, viable location for our store;

  • Vote on the next slate of candidates for our Board of Directors (learn more about this smart and dedicated bunch here); and

  • Get a (caffeine) buzz on! We've got a special treat for our coffee-loving co-operators, so be sure to join us on the 25th for the scoop.
I hope I'll see you later this month at the East Passyunk Community Rec Center! Remember, voting for the Board is the right of all fully paid member-owners, so if you haven't joined or you have outstanding equity, you have a few more weeks to get that in order. 

Cooperatively yours,

Leigh Goldenberg, Member, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors

Board Elections: Know Before You Go


Did you know that seven of your fellow member-owners are running for positions on the Board of Directors this spring? We hope to see you at our General Membership Meeting, where all members are encouraged to cast their votes.

Please spend a few minutes reading our nominees' bios and voter FAQs, so you can make an informed decision on the 25th. See you there!

WHEN: Wednesday, May 25, 6:30-8 p.m. (check-in begins at 6 p.m.)

WHERE: East Passyunk Community Recreation Center, 1025 Mifflin St. (click here for directions)

This spring's nominees:

Jessica Calter
Angel D'Ippolito
Alison Fritz
Anna Kiesel
Matt Stern
Katy Travaline
Emily Wyner

More information on this year's candidates can be found here. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can still vote via absentee ballot until 5 p.m. on May 24. 

Welcome our Newest Shop South Philly Member!


We're excited to welcome another Shop South Philly partner to the fold: CityCare Pharmacy

This locally owned independent pharmacy on West Passyunk accepts most major insurances, and offers services including free delivery within a 1-mile radius. 

Best of all, our newest partners is offering Co-op members a 10% discount on over-the-counter purchases over $10!

Be sure to pay them a visit, and don't forget to flash that membership card for all sorts of sweet discounts at CityCare and dozens of other local businesses. 


Co-ops in the News

From the St. Catharine's Standard: A grocery co-op in Ontario, the Garden City Food Co-op, has launched a capital campaign to raise money for renovations; the former night club with 660 members is awaiting renovations. Good luck, co-operators!

From the Sierra Vista Herald: The Sierra Vista Food Co-op in Arizona celebrates its five-year anniversary this spring! This Co-op began with a community meeting in 2006 with the grassroots efforts of a dedicated group of neighbors. Congratulations!

Upcoming Conferences: The 2016 Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) Conference, Disrupting the Future: Cooperative Food and the Next Generation, will be held June 9-11 in Amherst, MA. Locally, the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Association (PACA) will host Co-Up: A Teach-In for Cooperators on May 14 at Temple. The South Philly Food Co-op will be in attendance at both events, so stay tuned for updates and lessons learned!

March 2016 Newsletter: Five ways to make the best of a short weekend

Daylight saving time is around the corner, so don't forget to set your clocks forward this weekend! While you're sipping your Sunday morning coffee, lamenting that lost hour of precious time, remember this: You've still got plenty of good hours ahead, so we hope you make the most of them! Here are some ideas to help you spring forward: 
  • Save the date for our 2016 Spring General Membership Meeting: Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 p.m.! As is always the case during our spring meetings, we'll be voting in new members of the Board of Directors. 
  • Speaking of which, did you know that you could spend some of those precious life-hours attending board meetings as one of our newest Board members? It's decision time if you're considering joining the BoardNominations are due March 15.
  • Not sure the Board is right for you, but still want to give some of your time to the Co-op? Consider joining a committee. If you're not sure which committee is right for you, dive in and attend an upcoming meeting. Coming up this month:
  • Visit our newest Shop South Philly partnerChaat & Chai!  
  • Finally, if you haven't yet completed it, fill out our Member Product Preferences Survey. I promise that -- unlike daylight saving time -- it will take less than an hour! 

Cooperatively yours,
Nathaniel Cauldwell, Member, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors


Due March 15: Board Nominations

Are you considering joining our Board of Directors? Here are the basic requirements:
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Member of a share-holding household for at least eight months prior to election (since September 2015 or earlier)
  • Prior attendance at one General Membership Meeting
  • Prior attendance at one committee meeting
  • In good standing with equity payment(s)
  • Not associated with interests contrary to the general interests of the Co-op
  • Successful completion of Nomination Form
If elected, your term would begin in July 2016 and end in June 2018. Nomination forms are due on March 15; if you have any questions about the election process, we invite you to watch this Google hangout or email us with your questions!

Calling All Volunteers!

If you're interested in becoming more involved with the Co-op, we have a couple of great open volunteer slots that need to be filled ASAP:
  • We're looking for a dedicated individual to be our Volunteer Coordinator! This person is responsible for making sure events are fully staffed, and for placing volunteers with committees and projects that need them most. Most volunteer coordination can be done via email, so if you only have a few hours a month to help but would like to get involved, this might be a great position for you! Please email [email protected] for more information.
  • Join our Outreach and Member Services Committee! This joint committee coordinates all activities relating to our future and current membership, including member recruitment, event production, new member on-boarding and local business relationship building. Read more about this committee here, or click here to sign up!

Shop South Philly: Welcome Chaat & Chai!

Have you visited our Shop South Philly page lately? It's bursting at the seams with local restaurants, bars, boutiques and service companies offering discounts to all South Philly Food Co-op members. We'd like to welcome the newest member of our Shop South Philly family, Chaat & Chai

To use your discount, just show your Co-op card at the restaurant and receive a free small chai with your order of $15 or more.

Last Chance: Member Product Preferences Survey

We're wrapping up our Member Product Preferences Survey on March 15! Please take a few moments to let us know where you shop, how often, what you like to purchase and -- most importantly -- why. We'll be sharing the results of the survey at the Spring General Membership Meeting this May, so be sure to click here and let your voice be heard loud and clear.


February Newsletter: Are you our next board member?

This month, we want to give a special shout-out to all our members who've so generously donated their time as volunteers for the Co-op. In January, we welcomed a new crop of committee members (including three new Marketing and Communications Committee members: Nadine, Ashley and Shana!), and it's been really great to see so many new faces getting involved. Keep it up!

If you've ever wondered what you can do to help the Co-op reach our goals, the answer is simple: Volunteer! You get to meet great people and work on really rewarding projects. Committees currently looking for additional support include:
  • Real Estate (to help us find our permanent location)
  • Outreach and Member Services (to plan and execute events, and to engage our membership)
  • Marketing and Communications (to support the team with public relations and social media)
  • Leadership (to help us run our spring elections)
  • ...and more! Click here for a full list of Co-op committees.
Remember: Working on a committee is one of the requirements to become a member of the Board of Directors. And speaking of which ... we are gearing up for our spring Board elections! We are member-owned and -governed, so we rely on our members to help steer the strategic direction of the Co-op. 

Read on for more information about elections, upcoming events and more. And thanks for being part of our community!

Cooperatively yours,
Jessica Calter, President, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors

Become a Local Leader: Board nominations have begun!

At our annual Spring General Membership Meeting, the South Philly Food Co-op holds its election for the Board of Directors. These local leaders are responsible for guiding the Co-op and acting as stewards of the equity contributed by our members.

You could be one of these local leaders! Serving on the South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors is an opportunity to give back to your neighborhood and help bring to life to the community-owned grocery store we’ve all been waiting for. Directors elected in the spring will serve a two-year term beginning at July’s Board meeting and ending in the June 2018. 

The basic requirements for candidacy are as follows:
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Member of a share-holding household for at least eight months prior to election (since September 2015 or earlier)
  • Prior attendance at one General Membership Meeting
  • Prior attendance at one committee meeting
  • In good standing with equity payment(s)
  • Not associated with interests contrary to the general interests of the Co-op
  • Successful completion of Nomination Form
Nomination forms are due on March 15. If you have any questions about the election process, we invite you to watch the Google hangout we hosted last year about what running for and serving on the Board means -- or email us!

Do you know someone else who would be a great addition to the Board of Directors? You can suggest them here, and a member of the Co-op will reach out to further gauge their interest.

Last Chance: In Defense of Food Screening

The South Philly Food Co-op is excited to present a free screening of the PBS Documentary In Defense of Food, Wednesday, February 24 at Cinemug!

About the film:

Join New York Times best-selling author Michael Pollan on a fascinating journey to answer the question: What should I eat to be healthy? Busting myths and misconceptions, In Defense of Food reveals how common sense and old-fashioned wisdom can help us rediscover the pleasures of eating and at the same time reduce our risks of falling victim to diet-related diseases.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the screening will begin at 7. The film runs 78 minutes, and we'll hold a short discussion at the end if you'd like to stick around and talk about how we can use the film's lessons to improve our food choices in the community.

This event is free, but registration via TicketLeap is required, and only 30 seats are available (and they're selling out quick!). Cinemug will offer food and beverage for sale, and you can BYOB ($2 corkage fee).

February 24, 2016, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

1607 S Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148


ICYMI: Take Our Product Preferences Survey!

Don't forget: There's still time to take our Member Product Preferences Survey, to let us know the details of your grocery shopping habits. We want to know where you shop, how often, what you like to purchase and -- most importantly -- why. We'll be sharing the results of the survey at the Spring General Membership Meeting this May, so be sure to click here and let your voice be heard loud and clear.


January 2016 Newsletter: Congrats to the neighborhood of the year!

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Happy New Year! Now that January is in full swing, we're ready to look ahead to what 2016 will bring. Already, we're getting indications of a positive year ahead. (Speaking of good omens, scroll down to see which South Philly neighborhood was crowned with the 2015 Curbed Cup!) 
We warmly welcome our two newest committee members, Nadine and Ashley, who will be supporting our Marketing and Communications Committee.  We also welcome our new bookkeeper, Stas, whose 15 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant will no doubt be an invaluable resource as the Co-op continues to grow.
Additionally, the Board and Operations Committee continue to make progress on alternative financial models and other substantive items from our October Board Retreat, all with the end goal of opening our store. We'll have more details on these developments soon, so stay tuned.
If you're interested in getting more involved in our efforts to open a cooperatively owned grocery store in South Philly, simply reply to this email, and I'll help direct you. You can help make 2016 our best year yet!

Have a happy, healthy new year,
Anna Shipp, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors

Membership News: New-Member Orientation, Broth Giveaway and More

wild_is.jpgIn mid-December, we hosted a dozen Co-op members and prospective members for conversation and cocoa at one of our New Member Orientation sessions. It was great to get to know each other, walk through the member handbook, answer questions about the Co-op's history and development, and discuss the values behind cooperative enterprise. One prospective member talked about his experience with worker co-ops on the West Coast (where he moved from), while a current member explained his passion for a variety of consumer co-ops as a means to shift economic power. Thanks for sharing your stories!

Also, on Sunday, January 3, East Passyunk's Occasionette hosted a Wild Is! veggie stock giveaway for our members (see photo above). Don't forget, you can use your membership card for discounts at the Occasionette, as well as 40+ other Shop South Philly partner businesses! And be sure to tag your Wild Is! soups and stews on Instagram using @spfoodcoop.

Lastly, we'd like to thank everyone who donated to the South Philly Food Co-op as part of our annual fundraising campaign! For those of you who missed it, we'll leave you with this great quote from Co-op guru David Woo, who was featured in a recent fundraising email: "This isn't just about local food, this is about the economic power we can push down to the consumer and worker to make big business less relevant and less powerful in our lives. More economic democracy can mean a stronger political democracy for all of us." Hear, hear!

Curbed Philly's Neighborhood of the Year: Pennsport!

The readers have spoken: Pennsport has won the 2015 Curbed Cup! 

Curbed Philly's annual people's choice award is set up bracket-style, with Philadelphia neighborhoods pitted against each other until an ultimate victor is declared by popular vote. This year, our southeasterly friends -- home of Mummers headquarters galore, revitalized pier projects, Two Street and a burgeoning restaurant scene -- beat out Kensington for the win!

With this win, South Philly neighborhoods are three for four in the Curbed Cup: According to Curbed, "Passyunk Square took the inaugural title in 2012, followed by East Passyunk Crossing in 2013." (Fishtown won in 2014.) Newbold, Point Breeze and Lower Moyamensing, we've got our eye on you for 2016!

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Take our Product Preferences Survey!

survey.pngDon't forget: There's still time to take our Member Product Preferences Survey, to let us know the details of your grocery shopping habits.

We want to know where you shop, how often, what you like to purchase and -- most importantly -- why.

We'll be sharing the results of the survey at the Spring General Membership Meeting this May, so be sure to click here and let your voice be heard loud and clear.

Co-ops in the News: Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative

Here's an inspiring story from Down East: The Maine Farm & Sea Cooperativeaccording to the Bangor Daily News, aims to take on big corporations like Sodexho and Aramark to transform nearby university dining services options, providing institutional sourcers with fresher, farm-to-institution options.

“We have the operations experience and skills and ability and production in the state. We are saying you don’t need outside companies,” board member Jonah Fertig said. “This is a Maine food campaign that is also about sustainability.”

Keep on fighting the good fight!

Signing off,

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Big Circle, Little Circle

DONATE.pngIf you've made it out to a South Philly Food Co-op committee meeting or event in the past few months, you might have heard us refer to the Co-op's "big circle" and its "little circle." Relax, this isn't geometry class and we're not going to ask you to calculate the circumference of either circle. (This is a "no Pi zone.") But we are going to ask you to harken back to lit class, because we're going to talk about what those circles symbolize. 

The little circle stands for our store, the place we're working together to build — a grocery store in South Philadelphia, run by South Philadelphians, where South Philadelphians can shop for the products we choose to put on the shelves. We're working hard every day to make that little-circle dream a reality by searching high and low for the perfect location to call home.


But what's the big circle all about?

We recently asked David Woo, one of the area's biggest cheerleaders of and advocates for cooperative ownership, to tell us why he thinks co-ops are so important. What he said has stuck with us:

davidwoo.jpg"This isn't just about local food, this is about the economic power we can push down to the consumer and worker to make big business less relevant and less powerful in our lives. More economic democracy can mean a stronger political democracy for all of us."

The big circle is a symbol for everything the little circle — the store — will support. The South Philly Food Co-op will create jobs. It'll feed the local economy with local money. It will create a community of folks committed to a common goal. As David says, the big circle is about economic democracy. And that's a pretty powerful notion.

Will you help us move toward economic democracy in South Philly by making a gift to the South Philly Food Co-op?

Click here to make your tax-deductible donation by the end of the year, and to help ensure that the big circle will be really big once the little circle falls into place.

Looking for another way to help grow our big circle? Gift the gift of membership to the South Philly Food Co-op, or email us to see how you can pitch in.

December 2015 Newsletter: Bragging on two stellar member-owners

Last week, the Co-op's Board of Directors hunkered down with cups of warm apple cider (thanks, Anna S.!) and got down to business: We discussed the status of our committees' work as we do during every meeting, watched a crazy-impressive 25-slide PowerPoint presentation on our potential financial models (thanks, Anna K.!) and shared data we've learned so far from our Member Product Preferences Survey. These 12 folks I meet up with every month are ridiculously smart and dedicated, so I'm really humbled that they put so much of their time into the work of building our Co-op. 

Of course, the commitment and expertise brought to the Co-op doesn't stop with the Board. Two of the Co-op's long-long-time member-owners are moving on from their current volunteer roles, and because they aren’t the kind of people to brag about themselves, I’m taking this space to do it for them. Take that! 

Molly Peterman has been our incredible bookkeeper basically since the beginning. She set us up in Quickbooks, reconciled every member equity check, and made a weekly trip to our P.O. box. She's done all this, plus hosting potlucks and buying beer for member events, while holding down a job that’s now taking her out of state for a little while. We'll miss Molly, and I hope we’ll have a site to show her when she gets back!

Martin Brown has been sitting on our Outreach Committee since I joined the table. While building his own inspiring local food business, Martin has donated treats to our events, called upon his business connections to take our annual Garden Tour to the next level, and always offered to pick something up in his car. (Side note: I really hope we get to sell pints of his crazy ice cream at our store.)

Because you’re reading this, I bet you have an interest in seeing our Co-op dreams become a reality. And I also bet you have expertise, time or willingness to join us in making it happen. Just reply to this email and I’ll help find the right place for you to help, by volunteering or joining one of our committees

Till then, read on, visit our blog and follow us on Facebook to find out lots of ways you can get involved with our community right now.

Have a wonderful holiday season,
Leigh Goldenberg, South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors




Survey: What's on the shelves? You decide.


Here’s another thing you can do to help and have your voice heard!
 Please take 20 minutes to complete our Member Product Preferences Survey, which is helping shape the vision of our store. Here's a sample question from the survey:

It’s time to restock the pantry. Which olive oil do you choose?
  •  Store brand olive oil, $6.99/750 ml
  •  Organic store brand olive oil, $12.99/750 ml
  •  Single origin artisan olive oil, $14.99/750 ml
Which would you choose? Let us know!

On Deck: New Member Orientation


"Do I have to do volunteer hours?" 
"How do I answer my friends' questions about the Co-op?" 
"What do the committees do?" 
"When do I vote for stuff?"

If you've recently joined the Co-op and want to know more about what it's all about, our New Member Orientations are for you. Come meet fellow members and hear from people on our Membership and Marketing/Communications Committee about what the Co-op can do for you -- and what you can do for the Co-op.

And because it'll probably be cold ... hot chocolate for all!

Join us Monday, December 14 at 7 p.m. Click here to RSVP!

Reminder: Shop South Philly this holiday season


Something to keep in mind as you're tackling that gift-shopping list: 
Shop South Philly offers exclusive discounts and specials to South Philly Food Co-op member-owners when they shop at dozens of participating boutiques (like Occasionette, pictured), restaurants and other shops. Just show your member card or member ID number at these local businesses to receive your discount.

So go ahead — get your discount on, and don’t forget to thank them for supporting your Co-op!

Signing off,

South Philly Food Co-op


November 2015 Newsletter

Thanks for being a member or supporter of the South Philly Food Co-op! Here's what's happening this month:

Coffee with the Co-op's Board of Directors

Board of Directors Group Picture

Did you miss the Fall General Membership Meeting on October 25? No worries. The Board of Directors wants to catch you up personally on all the Co-op and Committee updates -- including how our real estate search is going -- and give you a chance to provide whatever feedback you might have. On Saturday, November 7, members of our Board of Directors will be having "office hours" just outside of Black N Brew (one of our Shop South Philly partners; located at 1523 E. Passyunk Ave) from 9am until noon. Get all of your questions answered with a one-on-one, face-to-face chat with one of your fellow member-owners who was elected to guide the Co-op through this phase of its development. Even if you don't have any questions, you can use this opportunity to let the board know what's on your mind and provide frank, honest feedback on how you think the process is going. Have some coffee. Let's talk!

Tell Us What Products You Want the Co-op to Carry

Your opinion matters. In fact, according to our by-laws, when it comes to making decisions about the Co-op, the opinions of our member-owners matter more than anything! One of the most important decisions we have to make long before opening is about the philosophy guiding the product mix the store carries. South Philly Food Co-op Member Stephanie Kane, who has some experience with finding answers to these questions as local purchasing coordinator for Weavers Way Co-op, put together a comprehensive Product Preferences Survey. Read more about it on our blog or CLICK HERE to go directly to the survey.

On Deck: Co-op Movie Night

Movie Night - Film Strip with Co-op Logo
The South Philly Food Co-op will be hosting a screening of "Food for Change" on Wednesday, November 11th at Cinemug. Curious about the cooperative model, or why we believe in it so much? This is the event for you. "Food for Change" is a documentary about food co-ops as a force for social and economic change throughout American history, up to and including today. Doors will open at 7pm for the screening at 7:30pm. Home-made gourmet popcorn to share with all your Co-op friends is highly encouraged. Event is FREE but space is limited so get your FREE ticket now. Did we mention it's FREE?

ICYMI: Update from the Board on Location Search

Last Friday, the Board of Directors sent out a detailed email updating everyone on the latest with our search for the Co-op's home. If you didn't receive the email or lost it among the various newsletters and special offers in your inbox, you can read it on our blog by clicking here.

Signing off,

South Philly Food Co-op