When West Michigan Co-op (“the Co-op”) opened for business in November 2006, the organization became the first year-round local food source in the Grand Rapids area and only the second online farmers market in the nation. Five years later, the Co-op is celebrating its anniversary and continued growth with a promotion for new members.
During the Co-op’s anniversary celebration, all new members who join the Co-op and shop during November and December will receive a free gift. In addition, all current members who refer new members who shop during this time period will also receive a free gift. The gifts will be provided by Co-op producers (farmers and other local small businesses) and will include lettuce, lamb burgers, soup, soap, all-purpose cleaner, and more.
As the first year-round local food source in Grand Rapids and the second online farmers markets in the country, the Co-op is one of the pioneers of the recent local food movement connecting farmers and consumers. The success and continued growth of the Co-op illustrates the commitment of west Michigan residents to supporting local agriculture, local businesses, and sustainable farming practices.
The Co-op provides local farmers/producers with a year-round outlet for selling their products to customers, and its members with the opportunity to continue to shop locally after other farmers markets close for the winter. In addition, both parties benefit from the convenience of the online ordering process – producers know exactly how much product they will be selling in a given month and members enjoy the ease of an online shopping experience.
The Co-op is an online farmers market. Co-op producers list their products for sale on the Co-op website. During a one-week shopping period each month, Co-op members shop on the website and place their order. At a pick-up night later in the month, producers and members come together at the Co-op headquarters where members pick-up their orders.
New members receive a two-month trial period. After that, there is an annual membership fee of $35.
- Nov. 1 – Dec. 22: Anniversary Celebration! All new members who shop during this period, and all current members who refer new members, will receive a free gift.
- Nov. 5-11: November shopping cycle at www.wmcoop.com.
- Nov. 22: November pick-up night at 1111 Godfrey SW.
- Dec. 3-9: December shopping cycle at www.wmcoop.com.
- Dec. 21: December pick-up night at 1111 Godfrey SW.
West Michigan Co-op is the region’s first online farmers market. The organization promotes sustainability, the local food system, and the “know your farmer” mentality. The Co-op is comprised of 500 active members and 50 producers selling 1200 products. The organization is completely run by volunteers. For more information, call 616-951-3287 or visit www.wmcoop.com.