About Us YOUR Community Market

OWNED BY OUR MEMBERS, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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Harvest Co-op Markets is a community-owned market with two stores in the greater Boston area: one in Cambridge’s Central Square, and one on Washington St. on the Jamaica Plain / Roslindale line. We have over 3,000 member-owners.

Harvest specializes in organic, natural and wholesome food choices. You will find fresh, local produce in season, fresh fish right off the pier, luscious local and imported cheeses, naturally raised meat, an award-winning bulk spice section, bulk products, unique wines and beer, and more.

Harvest supports sustainable agriculture, certified organic, local and small family farms, and fair trade businesses in our buying practices.

The origin of the present Harvest Co-op was a buying club formed on the BU Campus in 1971, called The Boston University Student Union Food Co-op. In 1972 they secured their first permanent location at 12 Babbitt Street on the B.U. campus. By the end of 1972, the Co-op had changed from pre-order to a store format where members could shop 5 days a week, and had hired a cashier/manager. By 1974 business was brisk enough to require forming a paid staff collective to replace the single paid manager. In 1974, the original Co-op moved to Allston.

In 1973, some Co-op members, helped by a group of Cambridge community activists and a Model Cities Grant, started work on the Cambridge Food Co-op. In 1974, it first opened it was for members only, first opening its doors to the public in 1983.

Over forty years later, we have two stores to serve you in Boston and Cambridge.

 

What is a CO-OP?

Co-ops are member owned businesses – whether they are consumer co-ops like Harvest; worker owned like Equal Exchange or Red Sun Press; Co-operative consortiums like Associated Press; Producer Co-ops like Ocean Spray and Cabot Creameries; Credit Unions, or Housing and Tenant Co-ops.

Co-ops operate with a “Second Bottom Line” – a commitment to community through providing services, support and education. Food co-ops like Harvest work together with other Co-ops around the country in the National Co-op Grocers Association.

Food Co-ops had a big hand in changing what we eat in this culture – not just by what we sold, but by the education that comes with being a cooperative. Natural and organic foods become much more in demand – organic sales are growing at 20% a year. We are proud to be a cooperatively owned business with over 4,000 members.

There are now about 400 retail food cooperatives in the United States. They have over 500,000 members and total gross sales in excess of $900 million.

 

Seven Principles of Cooperation

 As a Cooperative, We at Harvest operate under the Principles of International Cooperation. Because we are a Consumer Cooperative, these principles refer to our Member-Owners. 

  1. Open and Voluntary Membership.  No one is forced to join, or excluded from joining.
  2. Democratic Control. Members elect the Harvest Board of Directors annually.
  3. Limited Interest on Capital. Members can only buy one share (one membership).
  4. Equitable Distribution of Profits. Members receive equitable discounts, and any surplus goes back into the coop, or to the community.
  5. Education. We educate on food, food safety and health issues.
  6. Cooperation among Cooperatives. We work with other cooperatives in wide varieties of ways.
  7. Concern for Community. By outreach, events, donations, education, and other ways, we are involved in our communities.

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Harvest Co-op


580 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 617-661-1580
3815 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 617-405-5300
Open 7am - 10pm, 7 days a week
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