Peoples Food Coop and Cafe Verde
People's Food Co-op, which started as a buying club in the late 1960's, has grown into a full service grocery and cafe owned by over 5,500 community members. Anyone can shop, and anyone can join as a member to receive additional benefits.
The Co-op offers natural products, and features fresh produce, packaged, frozen and bulk groceries, home and health care goods and delicious prepared foods. Cafe Verde serves fair trade coffee exclusively, and the Fabulous Food Bar serves up salads, entrees and side dishes daily.
The Co-op celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2006; its longevity and cooperative economic structure, along with its friendly atmosphere, make the Co-op an Ann Arbor classic.
Sustainable Business Practices
The Peoples Food Cooperative specializes in natural and organic foods and places a high priority on being an ecologically responsible business. PFC not only encourages waste reduction and reuse in the workplace, but with the public as well. To do this, they provide extensive bulk herb, spice, baking goods, and dry goods in order to offer shoppers a waste-reduction choice. Shoppers are also given a 5 cent refund on every bag they bring in for groceries. The Co-op gives priority to products with certain characteristics: has a high recycled content, is an unbleached product, has less packaging, is less toxic, and is produced using fewer resources. PFC also encourages the use of reusable cloth bags, promotes locally grown and organic food, and offers environmental workshops and information. They also promote an environmental ethic among their customers by publishing a Shoppers Guide to Waste Reduction. In the workplace, PFC takes this ethic to heart. PFC recycles and reuses everything they can. They return apple trays, crates, and egg cartons back to producers, and give styrofoam peanuts to a local postal shop for reuse. As a result of these efforts, Washtenaw County awarded Peoples Food Cooperative and Caf Verde the 1998 Excellence in Waste Reduction and Recycling Award.