The Co-Op at 1st is driven to serve its community by offers a variety of services and programs

What’s a Co-op?

We remember as children watching parents, teachers and others encouraging us to be kind, patient and to work together. A co-op does exactly that in the grown up world. To some, it may seem like we function like any business, but behind the scenes, there are many differences.

A cooperative is a farm, business or other organization that is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits and/or benefits.

Rather than rewards going to outside investors, a co-op returns surplus revenue to its members in direct proportion to how much they use the co-op. This democratic approach results in a powerful economic force which benefits the co-op as a whole, its members and the communities it serves.

Core Principles

Cooperatives worldwide generally operate under these same 7 core principles

  • Voluntary, Open Membership

    Open to all without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

  • Democratic Member Control

    One member, one vote.

  • Member Economic Participation

    Members contribute equitably to and democratically control the capital of the cooperative. The economic benefits of a cooperative operation are returned to the members, reinvested in the co-op or used to provide member services.

  • Autonomy and Independence

    Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.

  • Education, Training and Information

    Cooperatives provide education and training for members so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

  • Cooperation among Cooperatives

    Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national and international structures.

  • Concern for Community

    Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

Our Cooperative Values

  • Self-Help
  • Self-Responsibility
  • Democracy
  • Equality
  • Equity
  • Solidarity
  • Honesty
  • Openness
  • Social Responsibility
  • Caring for Others
  • Perpetual Existence