East End Food Co-op

About the Co-op

The East End Food Co-op (EEFC) is Vancouver’s only consumer-owned grocery store. We’ve been a pioneer in the organic food movement, serving the local community and involved in the politics of food, the environment, communities, and more. We have led the growing wave of economic, political and food consciousness. Founded in 1975 the Co-op initially operated as a volunteer-run buying club in a warehouse location at a time when it was hard to get natural foods, particularly in bulk. The objective was to put food shopping profits in local pockets. Today, our store is professionally managed and run by unionized staff.

The East End Food Co-op offers a wide selection of organic, non-GMO, unprocessed, and natural foods. We also offer a range of conventional products in order to provide staple foods at prices that are as accessible as possible. The EEFC has deep roots and 40 years of history in the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood. We are proud to support local producers and farmers and work hard to offer as many local products as possible, because we understand that buying locally strengthens the local food system and the community. EEFC is Vancouver’s only consumer-owned grocery store and is collectively owned by thousands of local residents.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: For our inventory, we work with about 100 suppliers. We have a fairly formal commitment to local purchasing – we have a written policy that helps guide our purchasing. We also work to purchase products that have positive environmental attributers, work to purchase from social enterprises and women-owned businesses, and prioritize fair trade products. We also almost exclusively support B.C.-based companies for our service purchases. We work with local companies for our accounting, banking, recycling and waste management, repair and maintenance, and technology and IT services.

Question: What social practices are you proud of?

Answer: We’re a great employer. More than half our staff are in management positions. All our non-managerial staff are members of our union – they receive fair wages and good benefits. As Vancouver’s oldest and only retail food co-op, we’re proud to offer our customers an alternative to the corporate grocery stores that seem to be increasingly dominating our economy. In a corporate grocery store, even a local one, all the profits go to the shareholders. At our co-op, any profits are reinvested in the Co-op, used to pay better wages for staff, or distributed to the member-owners of the Co-op. When people shop here, they’re supporting fair wages and benefits for our workers and keeping their money in the local community. Our prices are fair and we offer a range of benefits to our members, such as 10% off monthly member appreciation days, generous discounts for case lot purchases, and regular member specials. We welcome feedback and product suggestions from our members and strive to provide a great shopping experience to all our customers. Although we’re a co-op, non-members are welcome to shop here. Over time, we hope our shoppers will see the benefits of the co-op model and join the Co-op to support our work!