Transparency -- Community -- Relationships!
We do not sell any mystery food. You know exactly who produced the food, where it was grown or raised, and what production practices the farmer or rancher uses. You don't just order five pounds of generic hamburger, you order it from a specific producer. Our food has a story, and you -- as a customer of locally raised foods -- are part of that story. You are a co-producer with our farmers and ranchers. We as a cooperative are re-creating a local food system here in Oklahoma. We are discovering the unique and authentic regional tastes of this area. We reject the idea of food as a commodity, as mere fuel, and are rediscovering the relationship of local food production to healthy local communities.
Everything we sell is made or grown in Oklahoma.
There is no food so good as that which is grown in your area by farmers who know their customers.
Such food is healthy, wholesome, traditional, natural, smart, and very tasty. It's where the trend in food is going these days. People are tired of factory foods and mystery meats drenched in pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. They are ready for food that is authentic, local, and produced in ways that don't degrade the natural environment or endanger human health. And did we mention that it is very tasty?
The Oklahoma Food Cooperative is a marketing network of farmers and their customers that can bring this kind of food -- with all of its delicious tastes and unique food experiences -- to your front door. We are a community, united in our support for and interest in local foods.
Each month, customer members order from a list of foods grown right here in Oklahoma by the cooperative's producer members. With one order, one payment, and one pickup or delivery, you could order food from many different Oklahoma producers. One week after you order, you pick up your food at one of about 52 locations around the state.
We have healthy foods and you can find out exactly what the production practices were with that crop.
Our producers offer a wide variety of all natural meats --pastured chicken, grass finished beef, custom-fed pork, grain and grass fed lamb. We also feature Oklahoma wheat and flour, peanuts, and a selection of processed foods like cheese, salsas, and jellies made right here in Oklahoma. And yes, we have eggs from free ranging chickens. These are the same delicious and local foods found in your grandmother's traditional kitchen, once again available to the public direct from Oklahoma farmers.
These days you ought to know the farmers who produce your food.
Our website introduces you to the family producing that particular product. You'll also get recipes and suggestions for use of seasonal products. Ideas for holidays and unique gifts? You bet. Order online and pay with your credit card or e-check? Of course. All this and fun events for members with lots of good local food. But wait, there is more! Buying food directly from farmers and ranchers puts your money to work at the grass roots of our local and state economy, where it does the most economic good for the most people. Oklahoma needs that right now.
If you want to give your family the best food there is, shop the Oklahoma Food Coop.
A cooperative organized under Oklahoma law, the Oklahoma Food Cooperative is owned by Oklahoma producers and their customers. It is the right thing to do.
You can get one month free access by simply signing up for a free Coop access account.
Then you have a choice. You can either become a member, and get free shopping access for life, or you can purchase a shopping pass on a monthly or annual basis. The monthly pass is $6, and the annual pass is $25 (non-refundable.)
Submitting the account registration form constitutes your agreement to abide by our Terms of Service.
If you are a low income household, you can apply for a membership paid for by donations by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and explaining your circumstances.
Acting as the agent of producer members, the Oklahoma Food Cooperative posts and publicizes the products the producers have for sale, receives orders, provides a way for products to be delivered to members of the cooperative, collects from the customers and forwards the payments to the producers.
Acting as the agent for customer members, we provide a catalog of available local food products that includes information about how and where the product was grown or processed. We receive customer orders and notify the appropriate producers, arrange for the food to be delivered, receive and process payments. For both producer and customer members, we provide a basic screening of products and producers based on our published parameters, and education and training regarding the use and the advantages of local foods.
The essential business of the cooperative is to provide a marketplace where willing buyers and sellers can meet. At no time does the cooperative have title to any of the products. We have no inventory except for Coop products like our cookbook, promotion items like t-shirt, and paper products. The products that go through our distribution system are owned either by the producer, or by the customer who purchases the product from the producer.
Y'all bon apetit, you hear?
Membership Mailing address: PO BOX 681, Oklahoma City, OK 73101, 405-605-8088
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How does this work?
We only sell food and non-food products that are grown or made in Oklahoma. We are an easy way to shop -- order online and then pickup at one of our many pick-up sites statewide. Think of us as your online farmers market. Each month we open on the first day of the month at 8 AM. We are then opening for your ordering convenience 7 days a week, 24 hours a day until the second Thursday at midnight. We close for ordering at that time to give our producers a week to harvest and make up the orders.
On the third Thursday, they bring their orders to Oklahoma City, the Coop volunteers sort them into individual customer orders, and our pickup sites open in the late afternoon so our customers can pick up their groceries! Check out our 52 pickup sites.
2. How much is the membership share price? What will this money be used for?
The membership share costs $50.00, plus a processing fee of $1.75, for a total of $51.75. It is a one time payment to provide the capital necessary to begin this service, it is not an annual fee like a Sam's Club membership. It is used for capital and operating expenses of the cooperative. Every business needs capital to operate and this is how the Oklahoma Food Cooperative raises the capital we need to do the work we do. This share is a piece of real property, just like anything else you own. It's like a share of stock bought on the stock market, except that each member buys only one share. "One share, one member, one vote" is the democratic principle governing our business organization. This is a one-time purchase. It is not an annual fee like many buying clubs have. If gives you lifetime access to shop the Coop!
If you don't want to buy a membership, you can pay an annual fee of $25 or you can pay by the month for $6/month.
3. What kind of prices can we expect?
Our prices are more expensive than the big box discount stores, but less expensive than the specialty stores that are currently becoming popular.
4. How exactly does the order and delivery system work?
When you register your account, you receive a user Id and password.
When we are open for ordering, go to our website and log in. This takes you to shopping pages. You can browse the pages and click on the icons to add items to your basket. To increase the quantity, click on the link to the shopping cart and update the product. Always hit the update button after each change.
You pay for your order when you pick up your food. We take payment by check, money order, or via the Paypal and Dwolla internet systems. Some of our pickup sites are set up to take credit cards.
We charge customer members 11.25% of the total of the order plus a base shipping and handling fee of $2.25, not including sales tax, for buying through the cooperative.
Non-member shoppers can shop one order with no access charges. After that, non-member shoppers pay either a non-refundable $25 annual fee or $6/order for shopping access. Members have lifetime access.
5. How do I get access to shop?
Fill out the online account registration form above online. That gets you one month free access to shop. After you try us once, you have three options for continued shopping access.
Buy access one month at a time for $6/month.
Buy 12 month's access for $25.
Buy a lifetime membership for $51.75, which also entitles you to vote at our Annual Meeting and participate in the governance of the Coop.
These options are found in your shopping cart.
6. Do you have food for sale during the winter?
Yes we have plenty of food available in the winter!
7. What kind of information will I know about these products?
Our producers are required to be totally transparent about the products they sell. Everything does not have to be organic or all natural, but if chemical pesticides or herbicides are being used, the producer must declare these practices. Customers can easily contact our producers and ask questions about their produts.
8. How does this service help me meet and get to know Oklahoma farmers?
Besides product information, each farmer, rancher, or processor has a page at our website to introduce themselves and tell the story of their family and farming operation.
9. What about complaints or returns?
Oklahoma Food reserves the right to reject any food product consigned to us for delivery to customers that we believe is not up to standards or is delivered spoiled or contaminated, and we will certainly do this if we feel necessary. You have the right to reject anything in your order that arrives spoiled, damaged, or is not as described in the product description. In such a case, you will receive a refund or credit to your account. If for some reason you are not happy with the quality of a product you have purchased, contact email@example.com and a coop manager will work with you and the producer to resolve the issue.
Information about the suppliers' policies on returns or complaints is found on the producer's information page at our website. In the event a situation cannot be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, the issue will be referred to an arbitration committee. One member shall be appointed by the customer, one by the producer, and one by the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. In the event the dispute is between the customer and our order delivery service, a similar procedure shall be used. The customer will appoint a member, the Cooperative will appoint a member, and the two chosen arbitrators will then together choose a third person.
10. Do these procedures ever change?
Yes. These procedures may change from time to time and member customers are invited to make suggestions and participate in our planning process. Our board meetings are open to the members and anyone may attend and address the board. We want this to work for everybody, and for everybody to have a sense of ownership.
11. Why are you doing this?
We want everyone to be able to buy the freshest, best tasting, most nutritious food while at the same time providing a just return to the producer.
13. What is your legal structure?
We are incorporated as a cooperative under the Oklahoma statutes.
14. Do you need volunteers? Are there tangible benefits to volunteering?
YES. We have opportunities for volunteers to help with preparing orders and delivering them. We will pay mileage (at the standard IRS rate) for delivery drivers to the pickup areas, and provide $7.25/hour credit towards purchases for volunteers who help with sorting and making up the orders. Drivers who make home deliveries will receive $15 of the home delivery fee. If you want to participate in these activities, contact the coop at firstname.lastname@example.org ..
15. What else do I need to know?
See our Terms of Service. Our producers and our service will comply with applicable health department rules and agriculture laws regarding the sale of food by farmers to the public. Tell a friend!
Please feel free to copy these pages and send them to others who may be interested, either electronically or in hard copies.