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Here are some frequently asked questions:
- Are there membership fees?
- Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
- How do I order?
- When do I pay?
- When and Where do I pick up my order?
- Why Support Suncoast Co-op?
- How can I sell through this market?
- Does eating local food make me more healthy?
- Can I volunteer?
- Do you have a newsletter?
- Can I pick up outside of New Port Richey?
- Do you have more information about Membership?
- What is a Co-op?
And here are some answers:
Are there membership fees?
- Membership Levels.*
- Any customer who uses our marketplace is charged a 10% surcharge
- Any customer that pays $25 annual fee
- ½ off on all fee events.
- No Surcharge fee.
- Equity in the Co-Op
Our membership fees and surcharges will help us to provide farm tours, educational programs, consultation and networking advice for farmers and to help us with our overhead costs. The fee you pay for full membership is an annual fee for one calendar year.
Will I have to buy vegetables I don't want?
Unlike some co-ops, buying clubs, or CSAs where everyone gets the same box of stuff (and you don’t know what you’re getting until you get it), with Suncoast Co-op you get to order what you want, in the quantities that you want, from the farms that you want. The weekly market lists the produce, milled products, fresh flowers, and artisan goods available that week, and you can browse the items on this website before you place your order.
How do I order?
Each Sunday evening, a reminder is sent to all of our registered customers by e-mail, of available products on our online market. Customers must place their order for the week no later than Thursday at Noon. Orders can be placed here on our website. Ordering through this web site is our preferred method as it is designed to reduce the amount of time it takes us to process orders as well as provide you with detailed information about our products.
When do I pay?
We accept cash only when you pick up your order, because we also pay our growers in cash. Because we may have to adjust your total then (to account for unnanounced items you decide to purchase or items that were unexpectedly unavailable), we do not accept advance payment on the website.
When and Where do I pick up my order?
From Habitat for Humanity Restore in New Port Richey, customers can pick-up their produce on Saturday 12pm-2pm.
4131 Madison St.
New Port Richey, FL
Why Support Suncoast Co-op?
Enhance your local economy: By purchasing produce and other items from local growers you are providing stability to your local economy through the support of local businesses.
Save natural resources: Buying locally makes you an invaluable link in the process of saving resources such as fossil fuels and packaging materials. Also, we are right here in your community so the expense of transportation and delivery is kept to a minimum.
Provide learning opportunities: Locally Grown supporters provide member growers the means to help educate our community about the importance of sustainable agriculture.
Supporting a way of life: The number of small farms in the United States has decreased dramatically in the last decade. Please help us preserve an honest and worthy means of making a living.
We believe that small, diverse, family-owned farms contribute to society’s overall health.
How can I sell through this market?
If you’ve already created a customer account here, simply go to Our Growers and click on ‘Join this Market’. This will add you to our system and our market managers will contact you with the next step.
If you want to add products to the market go to the market after being approved as a grower. Click on the market category your product would fall under on the left hand side. A new page will open up. An option of adding a product will be available. Click add a new product in “category” to add your product to the market. A new page will pop up where you can give detailed information about your product, place a picture, price, and more.
All growers must be members of the co-op.
Does eating local food make me more healthy?
A diet consisting of at least five servings (2 to 3 cups) of fruits and vegetables daily decreases the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and certain cancers. Those who consume eight or more servings are 22 percent less likely to die from heart disease than those who consume three or fewer servings a day. Buying from a farmers market means you’re able to purchase food often picked within a couple days of the market date, so its nutritional quality is still high, and it oftentimes hasn’t traveled across the country using valuable fuel resources. It also means your dollar is going back into the local economy, helping the farmers and other business owners in the community.
Can I volunteer?
Suncoast Co-op is looking for interested people who live in West Pasco or North Pinellas as volunteers for one of our committees leaders who would be interested in joining our board of directors, and/or worker/owner/members of the co-op who can contribute in the creation of the low hierarchical worker owned cooperative. Go to http://www.suncoastco-op.com to learn more about membership and our online market. We have an active online social network at https://www.facebook.com/SuncoastCoop and our group for discussions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/264378686981983/
If you would like more information on what a worker owned cooperative check out this short film: http://vimeo.com/38342677
We have several committee’s that our membership can participate with in order to increase the capacity of our cooperative. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in participating as a volunteer.
Responsible to establish liaison with the Growers and coordinate with them to increase production of locally grown and produced food and products for the market.
Able to generate and implement ideas with growers to bring more products onto the market
Coordinate with growers for helping with production
Organize volunteer activities such as Permablitz
Organize workshops to teach new growers and cottage industry for more products on the market.
Responsible to establish the Suncoast Co-op brand and identity and develop the communications and educational materials to support that. Members of this committee should have one or more of the following skills (in abundance):
Able to generate and implement ideas which bring people to our table with energy and enthusiasm
Able to write press releases and marketing material which does the same
Ability to develop collaborative communications and partner with other non-profit and educational organizations as required
Responsible for creating and implementing the programs and events to raise capital for the co-op. Members of this committee should have one or more of the following skills (in abundance):
Event management and organizational skills to pull together many elements of the puzzle
Willingness to collaborate with marketing
Creative fund-raising skills
Researching and writing of Grants and proposals
Ability to communicate to the general public
Time and enthusiasm — to go door to door and hand out materials. . .. to sit at informational venues and solicit membership — to assist with town hall or other gatherings — to ask permission to post materials — to staff fund-raising events
Responsible for working with existing Membership to “rally the troops” to become the volunteer “hands” required to implement the marketing plan, fundraising strategies, dissemination of educational materials and other volunteer opportunities. Members of this committee should have one or more of the following skills:
Time and enthusiasm — to go door to door and hand out materials, to sit at informational venues and solicit membership — to assist with town hall or other gatherings — to ask permission to post materials — to staff fund-raising events
Willingness to become knowledgeable about our Co-op and its impact on our community
Operations Planning Committee
Responsible for planning and implementing the detailed operational elements of the co-op. This broad and critical committee requires varied skill sets, including:
Retail experience — grocery experience would be very helpful
Understands inventory, purchasing, daily operations, etc.
Understands customer interaction and customer needs
Management of the ongoing operations of a business to ensure continuing improvement
Knowledge of local farming community
Legal understanding of co-op laws and regulations in Florida (or ability to get that and implement it)
Knowledge of and ability to ensure Compliance of appropriate government regulations relating to the store
Responsible for establishing and maintaining financial controls and for managing the finances for the co-op under the direction of the Treasurer. Skills include:
Knowledge of basic bookkeeping/cash-flow/ banking
Ability to research existing co-op systems and make appropriate recommendations
Ability to help define our financial systems within the structure of the proposed by-laws
Information Technology Committee
Responsible for the ongoing maintenance and development of our website and internal and external communication via IT. Please note that we currently have these skills, but are interested in identifying additional individuals to support our IT volunteers.
Software and web design
Do you have a newsletter?
Sign up for our weekly special deals, new items, local events, and more from the Suncoast Co-op. Sign Up for our Newsletter by clicking here
Can I pick up outside of New Port Richey?
East Lake Delivery
Garden Om is supporting the co-op by taking delivery orders for East Lake. Would you like to order from the Suncoast Co-op and have it delivered to your home in East Lake area? Can’t make it to the co op on Saturday? No problem! Home delivery is now available in the East Lake area. If you can’t be home between noon and 2pm, please leave a cooler with an ice pack and payment outside your front door and we will leave your order there. Just include your address with your order. (If you live in a gated community, you must be home or provide your gate code.) *FREE reusable ice pack with your first delivery!
Please add a Delivery Charge to your order of $3 for pick-up, $5 for delivery: Delivery Charge
Do you have more information about Membership?
New Member Packet
Download here: http://suncoastcoop.locallygrown.net/files/document/document/2305/original/new_member_packet.pdf
Bylaws of Suncoast Co-op
Download here: http://suncoastcoop.locallygrown.net/files/document/document/2304/original/bylawssuncoast.pdf
What is a Co-op?
“A co-operative 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.”