TLC:  The Local Co-op Veggies

Organic and Natural Foods

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What Is It? The Local Co-op
P.O. Box 404
Hayes, VA 23072
The Local Co-op (a.k.a. TLC, or simply "the co-op") is a cooperative food-buying club serving Gloucester County, Virginia, and the surrounding area. TLC meets monthly to order natural and organic foods at wholesale prices. Members share the work of running the co-op on a rotating basis. Membership is open to all, but only members may place orders.
How Does It Work?
The co-op meets every four weeks to order food from the Federation of Ohio River Cooperatives (FORC), a wholesale natural foods warehouse located in Columbus, Ohio.

Members submit individual orders from the selections in the FORC catalog, which contains thousands of items. Many products are available in conveniently-sized packages, but others come only in bulk or by the case.

The individual orders are collated and a monthly "dicker" meeting adjusts the desired quantities to fill out "whole units". When the food is delivered a week later, it is divided up and members pick up their orders at the American Legion Hall on Rt. 17 near White Marsh.

The co-op is organized into five work groups which rotate the responsibility for the monthly ordering cycles. Each adult member is expected to put in approximately four hours of effort twice a year. Jobs include coordinating the work group, collating orders, running the dicker meeting, publishing the newsletter, submitting the order to FORC, meeting the truck, dividing up the food, and assisting with "pick up".

What Products Are Available?
FORC carries a wide variety of unique and hard-to-find foods, many of them organic. A partial list includes:

  • Beans
  • Bread
  • Canned & Frozen Goods
  • Cereal
  • Cheese
  • Chips & Snacks
  • Coffee & Tea
  • Dried Fruit
  • Grains & Flour
  • Granola
  • Health & Beauty Aids
  • Herbs & Spices
  • Juices & Spritzers
  • Nuts & Nut Butters
  • Pasta
  • Produce
  • Sauces & Condiments
  • Tofu & Tempeh
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Vitamins
  • Yogurt

Brands include Arrowhead Mills, Barbara's Bakery, Dr. Bronner, Celestial Seasonings, Coop, Eden, Erewhon, East Wind, Fantastic Foods, Hain, Knudsen, Little Bear, Lundberg, Mayacama's, Santa Cruz, Spectrum, Thompson, Westbrae, and many more.
How Do I Join?
Membership is open to anyone. There is a one-time membership fee of $10 for an individual, $15 for a couple, or $20 for a family. In addition, the co-op requires a $25 deposit for new member accounts. The deposit is refundable after one year, or sooner if the member leaves the co-op with a paid-up account.

A new member's first order is limited to $50, and must be prepaid. New members are asked to attend the monthly meeting the first time they order so that they can become acquainted with the procedures and meet other members. The co-op is authorized to accept food stamps.

If you would like to join or want more information:

Please include your name, address, and an evening phone number. We will contact you, usually within a week.

Copyright © 1996-97 The Local Co-op. All rights reserved.
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Last update: 1/23/97