Abundance Food Co-op is just that, a Food Cooperative. We are grocery store owned by the people that shop with us. These people, called Shareholders, are democratically governed by a Board of Directors (BoD), which is comprised of fellow Shareholders. Any Shareholder can run for a seat on the BoD, and only Shareholders vote for the body (read about becoming a Shareholder here).

Food Cooperatives are based off the Seven Rochdale Principles, this page is set up to outline those Principles, and highlight some of the ways we follow those Principles.

Along with following the Rochdale Principles, Food Cooperatives often share higher degrees of social responsibility, and give priority to purchasing local, organic, sustainable, and/or socially responsible food and products for the store. 


First created in 1844 in Rochdale, England, the Seven Rochdale Principles, penned by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, formed the basis of how Cooperatives all around the world operate.

A second wave of the Cooperative culture swept across the country in the 1970’s, their goal was to offer alternate choices to chain grocery stores.

Our history as a Food Cooperative began in 1998, you can read all about our journey here.

The Seven Principles

1. Voluntary & Open Membership

Anyone can join the Co-op, we delight in the diversity our neighborhood provides us. Our differences, and allowances for those differences, is part of what makes  Cooperative models so special.

2. Democratic Member Control

We are grocery store owned by the people that shop with us. These people, called Shareholders, are democratically governed by a Board of Directors (BoD), which is comprised of fellow Shareholders. Any Shareholder can run for a seat on the BoD, and only Shareholders vote for the body.

3. Member Economic Participation

Since we moved to our new location, the Co-op has not yet turned a profit. Once we begin to have surplus funds again, how portions of that money gets spent, is voted on by the Shareholders of the Co-op.

4. Autonomy & Independence

Abundance does not depend on any other entities or companies, when it comes to making the decisions having to do with our Co-op. Day to day operational decisions are made by the General Manager (GM), and Co-op long term decisions are made by the BoD and our Shareholders. The results of the GM are closely monitored by the BoD.

5. Education, Training, and Information

Education and Training is an important aspect for our Co-op. We have hands on classes like how to Compost at Home, or how to be an all star at Minimal Waste Living. We provide education via presentations and conversations, inviting local panelists that can speak on the subjects we present.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Just like it’s important to work with our community, it’s also important to work with other Cooperatives. Abundance recently took a trip out to the Lexington Co-op in Buffalo, NY and toured both facilities. We were greeted warmly, invited to sit in on a Staff Meeting, and left with lots of photos and new ideas on how to do things.

7. Concern for Community

We are a Cooperative of people that care. We want to do and to be better. We support each other.

We believe in Equality and Solidarity.


Rochester, and the surrounding region, is rich with an abundance of quality, handcrafted, and ethically-produced food and crafts, something that resonates with us. Throughout our store we highlight local producers and craftspeople who pour their love, and care, and knowledge into the food and products we carry; We give priority in purchasing products that are local, organic, sustainable, and/or socially responsible.

Abundance is a member of the National Cooperative Grocers (NCG). The NCG connects us with co-ops all across the country, allowing us to leverage with collective weight in national advocacy campaigns, like the Non-GMO Project. We’re also able to get competitive prices and great monthly sales on hundreds of products through this partnership, including the Co+Op Deals program.

Our Co-op helped to pioneer the natural and organic food movement in this region, building our store from the ground up through the hard work of our owners and the longstanding partnerships with local farmers and producers we’ve established. We are Rochester’s first, and only, Food Cooperative.


Our Ends Policy is essentially a BoD established Purpose Statement for the Co-op. Our Bylaws are rules that were made to control the actions of our Shareholders, and Officers.



As much as we would love to use Volunteers at the Co-op, under State Laws, we are not permitted to do so. Abundance is incorporated as a Cooperation, we are not a non-profit, and we carry no 501(c)3 status.

Don’t be discourgaged! If you would like to help the Co-op grow and become the best Cooperative it can be, there are some things you can do.

1. Sign up to teach a Class in the Community Room or Cafe (Once Covid meeting restrictions are lifted, we will relink to this option). Do you have a Green Thumb? Do you know basic cooking skills? Are you an expert on something that could help others? This might be a great fit for you!

2. Sign up to take a Class we have at the Co-op. It may not sound important, but those signing up for classes are of great support to the Co-op. Interest generates audiences, which allow us to reach people that may have never been to our Co-op.

3. Become an Ambassador for the Co-op, by telling your friends and family about our store. Let people know Anyone Can Shop the Co-op (you don’t have to be a Shareholder!), let them know we have many Ways to Save. Talk about our Bulk, or all the great Organic Food- there’s so much to be excited about!

4. If you are a Shareholder, vote in elections, attend monthly BoD meetings (the second Tuesday of every month), run for a seat on the BoD yourself! If you are not a Shareholder, please consider signing up today!