by Kim McGinley / People’s Co-op News
Outside of the great service provided to me as an individual, I believe that the community of Ocean Beach as a whole benefits from the positive presence of O.B. People’s Organic Food Market, our very own food cooperative.
What follows is a partial list of what I love about my Co-op:
- People’s provides a Community Room as a meeting space at no cost for Co-op member-owners, who in turnoffer monthly workshops and lectures that are always free of charge.
- Additionally, the Co-op provides donations to Ocean Beach Elementary School and other programs that benefit the youth, as well as providing donations for many community events.
- The Co-op also offers a daily discount for member-owners who are senior citizens.
- It gets cold in the winter, even in San Diego, and People’s hosts an annual warm clothing/blanket drive for the homeless during January.
- They also provide an “every day of the year” drop box for food donations that helps fill the pantry shelves of the Western Service Workers Association’s food bank.
- People’s is also the largest employer in Ocean Beach, providing a livable wage with opportunities for training and advancement, an excellent benefits package, and exposure to a democratically controlled, cooperative work environment.
- Ocean Beach People’s similarly helps build a sense of community within our ocean town.
- They provide a space for local artists to display their art, and offer free local music every Friday night and Sunday morning.
- The Co-op organizes a Fall Arts and Crafts Fair for local artisans, they also host a much anticipated Healthy Halloween event, a vegetarian birthday party barbeque (all the food is free at the party!) each summer and an Annual Meeting in the spring with a delicious brunch.
- Plus, the Co-op publishes a free monthly newsletter that aims to educate and promote healthy lifestyles for both the individual and the environment.
- On a national front, Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market is held in high esteem due to its sustainable green building practices, unique meat-free environment, cooperative business structure, and a dedication to “buying for” as opposed to “selling to” their customers.
- The Co-op eschews synthetic food ingredients, and their merchandise policy forbids the sale of food with artificial colors or preservatives. I love that!
- Long before the food industry began to tackle the issue of trans fats as a health concern, People’s removed these fats—considered by many health practitioners to be the most unhealthy type of fat—from their shelves.
- And as for choosing plastic over paper at the checkout stand, People’s removed the plastic option almost two decades ago. Rather, they offer a daily raffle for a $30 dollar People’s gift card to shoppers who bring in their own reusable bags. And, if you forgot your bags at home, the Co-op encourages shoppers to help themselves to any number of sized cardboard boxes from the box bin located at the entrance to the store.
There are so many reasons that I am proud to be part of O.B. People’s. Not the least of which, together with more than 14,000 other Co-op members, I own the store!