About – Mission and Membership

Interested in becoming an involved co-op member-owner?            

On behalf of the Good Tern staff and Board of Directors, we would like to thank you for your interest and support of our store, where all shoppers are welcome. We are so grateful that you’ve found us and are curious about membership.  A cooperative business is a unique type of organization which is based on and run by the following principles:

*Self- Help  * Self-Responsibility   *Democracy   * Equality   *Equity

*Solidarity  *Openness  *Honesty Social Responsibility  *Caring for others

We use these principles to make business decisions based on a Triple Bottom Line: We are mindful of the environmental, social, and financial impact of our choices.

Simply shopping with us is extremely valuable and essential. You do not need to be a member to shop here! We call this category of shoppers our PATRONS.

PATRONSIn our store, we have thousands of patrons, all of whom are warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated. Patrons need not become member-owners, make no membership/equity payment and hold no responsibility as a member-owner. Patrons support us by paying standard price for goods and services, feeding our cash flow and helping us to pay our growers and producers’ fair price for their wares, and to cover other operational expenses, and to provide jobs that are in alignment with our principles. Whether you are a one-time shopper or daily shopper, your patronage is INVALUABLE!

MEMBER-OWNERS: We have over 1300 Member-owners who actually own the store and participate in the democratic process that governs a co-op. Each member-owner has one vote, and can vote in annual elections for the Board of Directors. As a member-owner you can also choose to run for and serve as a Board Director if elected.  Memberships are divided into 5 categories:                                                                                                                             SUPPORTING MEMBERS: Make annual equity payment of $18 per adult in the household, receive 3% discount. Special orders are 10% off.

WORKING MEMBERS: Make annual equity payment of $18 per adult in the household, work 1.5 hours per month per adult. The largest portion of our work force is the working membership. We have somewhere in the vicinity of 250 working members!! Jobs include stocking, receiving orders, bagging bulk items, putting the store to bed at night, committee participation, cleaning, special event support (cooking, setting up, etc.) building maintenance, grounds maintenance, and about a zillion other things.   These members are always working for the following months’ discount. For example, work in May= 15% in June. We couldn’t exist in this capacity without these folks.

SUPER SUPPORTING MEMBERS: Make annual equity payment of $18 per adult, and an additional $200 to receive 15%.

BUSINESS MEMBERS: Make annual equity payment of $36 and receive 3% discount with 10% off special orders for their business or restaurant.

SUPER SUPPORTING BUSINESS MEMBERS: Make annual equity payment of $36, and an additional $200 to receive 15%.

The Good Tern Co-op is governed by a board of directors (nine member-owners elected d by the membership) who each serve three-year terms.  The Good Tern is run by a general manager who is hired by the Board of Directors, 16 staff members,and our devoted working members.

We hope this information helps you to make an informed decision about membership. Our beautiful community market depends on you in so many ways. We are a unique business in a very special place in the world. We invite you to participate whether as a patron or a member, in a way that works the very best for you. Please speak with us if you are inspired to become more involved.

Our Mission Statement:

The purposes of the Good Tern Co-op are to provide a high-quality, fairly priced, cooperatively owned and democratically controlled source of food and health products; to educate and inform members and the community on whole food, health and nutrition, food sources, and food preparation; and to help further cooperative principles, democracy, and self-reliance.

                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                            Member Rights                                                                                              As a member of Good Tern Co-op, you enjoy a number of unique and                         important rights.

    • Elect directors — Elections for 3 year terms at annual meeting.
    • Review reports on financial performance at the annual meeting and in the newsletter.
    • Require the co-op to follow its bylaws.
    • Run for the board of directors.
    • Vote on questions put before the membership by the board.
    • Vote for changes in bylaws as needed to keep the co-op current with the law. The board of directors is responsible for periodically reviewing bylaws.
    • Attend board meetings (except for executive agenda sessions). Meeting dates are in the newsletter.

    Member Responsibilities

    Similarly, the rights of membership come with a corresponding and equally important set of responsibilities which members must recognize and discharge in order for the co-op to function profitably. These include:

    • Capitalize the co-op — purchase your full equity in a timely manner.
    • Patronize the co-op — give your business to YOUR business.
    • Vote in elections and respond to surveys.
    • Attend the annual meeting.
    • Promote the co-op to others — tell your friends and neighbors about us.
    • Understand co-op principles and objectives — learn about cooperatives.
    • Support the co-op financially and with your energy and enthusiasm during times of expansion.
    • Understand that the co-op is a business and must meet the needs of a business.
    • Stay informed of what is happening at the co-op — read newsletters and mailings.

    our co-operative values

    Self-help  –  we help people to help themselves
    Self-responsibility  –  we take responsibility for, and answer to our actions
    Democracy  –  we give our members a say in the way we run our businesses
    Equality  –  no matter how much money a member invests in their share account, they still have one vote
    Equity –  we carry out our business in a way that is fair and unbiased
    Solidarity  –  we share interests and common purposes with our members and other

    our ethical values

    Openness  –  nobody’s perfect, and we won’t hide it when we’re not
    Honesty  –  we are honest about what we do and the way we do it
    Social responsibility  –  we encourage people to take responsibility for their own community, and work together to improve it.                  Caring for others  –  we regularly fund charities and local community groups from the profits of our businesses.


    our principles are the way we put our values into action

    Voluntary and open membership  –  membership is open to everyone
    Democratic member control  –  all members have an equal voice in making policies and electing      representatives
    Member economic participation  –  all profits are controlled democratically by members and for their benefit
    Autonomy and independence  –  co-operatives are always independent, even when they enter into agreements with the Government and other organizations
    Education, training and information  –  co-operatives educate and develop their members as well as their staff
    Co-operation amongst co-operatives  –  co-operatives work together with other co‑operatives to strengthen the co-operative movement as a whole
    Concern for community  –  co-operatives also work to improve and develop the community, both locally and internationally.