“As a co-operative, we are owned by our community,” says Jon Roesser, General Manager of Weavers Way Cooperative Grocery located in the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia. “A co-op exists to meet the needs of the people who own the place. Whatever a neighborhood lacks, the neighborhood can address that lack of whatever through cooperation,” he says.
“The money that you pay to become a member actually is your portion of the ownership of the organization. So it remains your money and it goes into your equity account,” Jon says. “In a cooperatively owned business, no one person can own any more of the business than anybody else. In a co-op, we all have equal ownership. We’re putting our money in to support the organization, but we’re not looking for a return on our investment.”