Built by Working Members on behalf of the residents of Yelm and surrounding communities, the Yelm Food Co-op was dreamed up by community members who wanted to ensure that we all had easy access to the freshest, healthiest, most local foods and other products possible. And every day at the Co-op, a group of committed Working Members work hard for you. Because of our them, we are a successful, visionary cooperative market that grows in our success and expands our vision every year.
Working Member FAQs:
Who ARE the Co-op Working Members? They are member-owners of the Co-op, dedicated in so many ways: in leadership, by voting on important changes; financially, by paying membership dues; and in time and energy invested at the store to ensure its efficient operation. This member-owner involvement makes the Co-op and its volunteers truly special!
What do Working Members DO at the Co-op? Every day at the Co-op is different, some busy and others slower, giving Working Members more time to devote to detail and planning. They receive and organize deliveries of produce and other goods; check in customers’ bulk goods orders to prep them for pick-up; clean and refill bulk bins; and stock the shelves to ensure constant abundance for our shoppers. But no matter a day’s pace, the focus is always to ensure that each customer has an exceptional experience.
Each Working Member contributes to the atmosphere of community on which we collectively pride ourselves, having established the Co-op as a center for sharing knowledge and making new connections.
Are COMMITTEE members considered Working Members? Absolutely! Our By-Laws, Outreach and Education, and Strategic Planning Committees are dynamic round-table groups charged with the following responsibilities: to ensure the Co-op runs efficiently and lawfully; to explore and implement new ways to reach out and educate the community; and to brainstorm the future of the Co-op’s exciting expansion (coming soon!). Committees present critical findings and recommendations to the Co-op Board of Directors for discussion, voting and…ACTION! Committee involvement is another invaluable way to contribute as a Working Member!
How long is a Working Member’s SHIFT at the Co-op? There are three 4-hour shifts Monday – Saturday, and two 4 1/2 hours shifts on Sunday. With just four paid staff members at the store, the importance of Working Members committing to their allotted shifts cannot be emphasized enough. That being said, because they give their time to the Co-op and help it to grow, their value ensures that the Managers and other paid staff will approach scheduling, special circumstances and last-minute requests and conflicts with flexibility and understanding. We are grateful to have our Working Members, and we work with them to ensure that they are happy here!
What are the benefits to ME of being a Working Member at the Co-op? Well, first and foremost, you learn the ins and outs of the Co-op, including the origin of its products and how they are handled, which is valuable knowledge to a member-owner of any business. You also have daily input above and beyond voting rights. And you experience the joy of working directly with customers to see how the Co-op helps our community one customer at a time!
What ELSE will I get as a Working Member? Okay, okay…. as we said, Working Members are extremely valuable to our operations; therefore, they get real, tangible benefits. Depending on the hours worked, you enjoy 10%-20% off of the already-reduced member pricing; those who work 20 hours a month (just one shift a week) not only get 20% off of their purchases but also enjoy wholesale pricing on all Buy Club items. You also get to take home and sample new products; and the Co-op Managers select from the pool of interested Working Members the appropriate candidates to interview when looking to hire new paid staff.
Additional important information:
- For every 6 hours worked, Working Members receive a 20% discount off $100 worth of items purchased in the store, with the exception of marked-down items and wine on sale. They can also purchase in bulk through the Buy Club at cost plus 10%.
- In order to qualify for the Working Member Membership of $20 per year, Working Members have to commit to working a minimum of 3 months.
- Working Members are required to have a Food Handler’s Permit at the time they begin training. Otherwise they will not be allowed to work and receive any discounts. Permits can be obtained at the Yelm Senior Center or online. Visit here for details: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehfood/pdf/classschedule.pdf Cost is $10.
If you have questions or want to consider becoming a Working Member, please visit us at the store to pick up an application form or download one as a pdf file here: