Inclusive, Socially Responsible Practices

Seward Co-op will sustain a healthy community that has inclusive, socially responsible practices.

Cooperative principles guide Seward Co-op toward a more just future. Whether in honoring the hands that grow and harvest the foods in our stores; in creating or serving our cooperatively handcrafted deli items; or in welcoming you, we are proud to live the principle of inclusion.

We hire staff who reflect the neighborhoods in which we operate.

The percentage of staff who reside within walking or biking distance (1.5 miles) of our locations ranged from 62% and 70% throughout the year.

The percentage of staff who identify as BIPOC employees ranged from 37% to 39% throughout the year.

11% of Seward Co-op staff identify as multilingual.

We invite everyone to become a co-op owner through flexible payment options and a needs-based discount.

Community members become owners of Seward Co-op for a number of reasons. Many people join to support a community-owned business that works to sustain a healthy community. Everyone is welcome at our co-op. You do not need to be an owner to shop.

22,148 total co-op owners

1,054 new co-op owners

25% needs-based payments

10% installment-payments

65% payments in full

Education is a Co-op Principle

Seward Co-op builds respectful relationships that cultivates trust within our cooperative. We hope to provide fun, educational opportunities that reflect the culturally diverse community in which we live. Generally, classes are focused in the areas of natural foods, health, food justice and cooperative education.

38 classes offered to the public

67 community meetings hosted at stores and/or public store tours by staff

Co-ops Exist to Meet the Needs of Its Owners

The overarching goal of the cooperative movement is to create organizations that serve the needs of the people who use them. Cooperative businesses provide goods and services in a way that keeps community resources in the community.

Over the course of the fiscal year, Seward Co-op made 629 product changes per customer requests.

We prioritize and promote giving back to our community.

Our SEED round up program raises funds for community organizations selected by Seward Co-op employees. Some are decided on by the community through community choice voting.

SEED has raised over $2 million since its launch in 2011! These funds are made possible by co-op owners and shoppers who give generously by rounding up to the nearest dollar on their purchases.

$233,348 in customer SEED donations

$66,957 in other grants, donations and sponsorships

340 paid employee community service hours

Hate Has No Business Here: Community Groups Rally to Support Vandalized Businesses

In September 2019, several businesses along East Franklin Ave. were vandalized. The violence triggered fear and anxiety in our community. Over the month of October 2019, our community raised $30,000 for neighbors whose businesses were vandalized, of which over $23,000 came from SEED. Seward Co-op stands in solidarity with Seward business owners and the East African community that has been targeted more broadly. We believe it is important to stand up in unison and say that hate has no business here.