We Value Local
We give priority to buying local, organic, sustainable, and/or socially responsible products. We helped to pioneer the natural and organic food movement in the 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 Value People
At Abundance, ALL are welcome. Shareholders and non-shareholders alike come to the co-op for a friendly meeting place, healthful food, and safe household products, at reasonable prices.
We Value Community
Rochester and the surrounding region is rich with a local abundance of quality, handcrafted, and ethically-produced food and crafts, and that is a story closely tied to our own, as Rochester’s only food cooperative. Throughout our store we highlight local producers and craftspeople who put such care into the food and products we carry.
Abundance is a member of the National Cooperative Grocers (NCG). The NCG connects us with co-ops 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.
At Abundance Food Co-op, “healthy” is more than just the food on our plate—it’s the way things are grown, made, or sourced. That’s why we make sure our products are sustainably produced.
Certified organic food not only tastes good, but it supports a better food system. And a food co-op like Abundance is an organic form of business that helps create a more vital community around it.
Abundance offers high quality, locally-sourced, and delicious food. Come discover new flavors and inspirations across our departments—we offer a full range of healthy, everyday groceries!
The Abundance Food Co-op exists to provide safe, healthful, nutritious food and other products at a reasonable price to the Rochester community.
We strive to operate our business in a manner which supports a sustainable food system, sound ecological practices, responsible corporate practices, and just employment procedures.
We strive to be a community center which provides reliable food, education, and extraordinary customer service benefiting our shareholders, our shoppers, our neighborhood, and the whole community.
1998 - 1999
The Food Store at the Genesee Co-op on Monroe Avenue
We are Rochester’s first and only cooperatively-owned natural products retail grocer. We opened in 2001, but our history spans more than 40 years, beginning with the Genesee Co-op Natural Foodstore in 1968.
The Genesee Food Co-op evolved into what would become the Food Store at the Genesee Co-op on Monroe Avenue, which was situated on the bottom floor of an old fire station. Though it was not an actual cooperatively-owned store, it held many of the same values and was the first grocery stores to exclusively offer natural, healthy, and organic food to Rochester shoppers.
1999 - 2001
Abundance Cooperative Market first came into being in 1998, when a group of employees from the Food Store at the Genesee Co-op on Monroe Avenue (which was not a co-op) decided to set up Rochester’s first retail cooperative grocery store. These Rochesterians, our founders, were tireless advocates for the benefits a food co-op would bring to their community. Their first goal towards realizing their vision was to raise money for the purchase of a retail space.
They raised $50,000 in the first two years, but twice that amount was needed. While they campaigned, one of the co-opers, Peggy Rosenthal, set up a small buyers’ club that operated from a storefront on Caroline Street in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood. A vote within the group was held for a name–they chose Abundance Buyers’ Club.
2001 - 2017
Rochester’s First Co-Op Opens
After a long search and lot of sweat, the Abundance Buyers’ Club found an old car maintenance facility on 62 Marshall Street that looked like the perfect place to open a retail store. Abundance Cooperative Market welcomed its first shopper on April 3, 2001. We even remember her name: Liz Litwiller.
Abundance’s first shareholders were committed to making the store work. They did countless tasks–from carpentry and electrical fitting to getting the word out in the Rochester community about the new store–to make that first day of business possible. The Abundance Grand Opening was held on Earth Day, 2001. Then Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson and County Legislator Bill Benet spoke to everyone who came to celebrate the momentous occasion.
Today’s Abundance Food Co-op was realized by people in Rochester who wanted change: healthier food and a better, more sustainable food system. Today, shareholders, shoppers, and staff alike are ever grateful for their vision and work.
2017 - Present Day
The Co-Op moves to the South Wedge
After many years of searching for a new location a long term lease was signed at 571 South Ave. The construction and opening of the new store was a long and stressful process but the reward was well worth it.
The new store is much larger and in a better location than the original store on Marshall St. Shareholders and staff alike are happy to be located in the center of the South Wedge neighborhood and better serving the grocery needs of the community.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About the Co-Op
What is a co-op?
A cooperative is a business voluntarily owned and controlled by the people who use it — its Shareholders/Owners. It operates for the mutual benefit of all Owners and according to common principles established for cooperatives, which include: Open and Voluntary Membership, Democratic Member Control, Members’ Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training, and Information, Cooperation Among Cooperatives, Concern for Community.
Is the co-op a non-profit?
No, Abundance Food Co-op is incorporated in New York as a cooperative corporation, which is considered a for-profit organization. While the Co-op is technically for-profit, it is member-owned and democratically-controlled, and it has a strong mission to serve the community and world, just like a non-profit organization.
What’s the difference between a grocery co-op and other grocery store?
Co-ops are owned and controlled by the people who use them. Profits do not go to a single person or outside organization but stay in the community through dividends or are applied to investments to help the co-op grow as agreed upon by Shareholders/Owners.
What type of business organization is the co-op?
As of 2001, Abundance Food Co-op is incorporated in New York as a cooperative corporation. Unlike most corporations, Shareholders of the Co-op are community members who are investing in their community through grocery store ownership. Through the one-time purchase a $100 share, an individual becomes a Co-op Shareholder. Shareholders have a say in the business decisions the Co-op makes both through voting in elections and by reaching out to the Board of Directors which is composed of elected Shareholders who have volunteered to represent the whole body of Shareholders. Additionally, the Co-op will return surplus revenue to its Shareholders in proportion to how much they use the Co-op through patronage dividends.
How can I make a donation request?
You can review our donation guidelines and submit your request online.
I am a customer. Can I recommend a product to sell at your store?
We love to hear from our Shareholders and our shoppers! Submit your requests for new products using the Contact Us form below.
I am a local food maker. Who can I talk to about getting my product in your store?
We also love making connections with local food makers. Tell us about what you do and your product via the Contact Us form below.
How can I rent the Community Room?
You can submit your request to rent the community room via the Contact Us form below.
It is available to Shareholders for free, non-shareholders for $25/hour and to non-profits for $10/hour.
DUE TO COVID 19 – OUR CAFE AND COMMUNITY ROOMS ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Becoming a Shareholder
What is a Shareholder/Owner?
Any shopper can become an Abundance Shareholder by joining the co-op with a one-time equity investment, also known as a share, for $100. This is not a fee, but an investment in ownership stock of the co-op. By joining the co-op, you are pooling your resources with others in our community to provide a strong financial foundation and ensure its success.
Do I have to be a Shareholder to shop?
No. Everyone is welcome to shop at the Co-Op.
What’s the benefit of becoming a Shareholder?
- Help build a stronger local economy and community
- Choose one day a month to get 10% off of your purchase on most regularly priced items*
- Get discounts on special orders
- Take advantage of owner-only deals
- Share in the profits: receive possible dividend payouts relative to how much you spend
- Vote for candidates to join the Board of Directors at annual meetings
- Vote on bylaw amendments and other items as proposed by the Board of Directors
- Run to be elected to the Board of Directors
*Discount does not apply to items already on sale or at a reduced price. Some low margin items, like eggs, milk and beer are also not included.
How do I become a Shareholder?
What is a patronage dividend and how do I get one?
Patronage dividends are distributed to Shareholders when the co-op generates surplus revenue. Each individual’s dividend is based on the amount of money spent over the course of a year and usually awarded as a one-time rebate to be used at the co-op. It’s another way we, as a co-op, keep our dollars local.
About Shopping Here
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, check (with ID), debit and credit cards (including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), and EBT as forms of payment.
Do you accept EBT? WIC?
Yes, we do accept EBT however; we are not currently a WIC certified vendor.
What kinds of items do you carry?
We are a full service grocery store, carrying the same kinds of items you can expect to find at bigger stores. What makes us different is our commitment to organic, non-GMO, environmentally sustainable, local. What you won’t find are foods that are high in artificial sugars, preservatives or other chemicals. This means many of the brand manes you find in traditional grocery stores are not on our shelves. Instead, we primarily carry brands committed to wholesome ingredients.
Can I bring my own containers to shop bulk?
Yes! We have a wide variety of bulk items and encourage shoppers to bring their own containers in an effort to reduce waste. Before you fill your containers, stop at the cash register to have them weighed so the weight of the container can be deducted when you check out.
What are your hours of operation?
Monday 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM — 8:00 PM
On days we conduct inventory we open at 11 AM. In 2020 these dates are January 3, March 27, June 26 and October 2.
What Holidays are you closed?
We are closed New Years Day, Easter Day, Labor Day and Christmas Day. On Thanksgiving we are open half the day for the Wedge Waddle, check back for specific store hours.
Can I bring my pet/animal/service animal into the co-op?
While we love pets too, they are not allowed in retail facilities that serve food. Service animals (animals trained to do a specific task) are not considered pets and are allowed in the store.
How can I place a special order?
Call us at 585-454-2667 or stop by the service desk to place a special order.
Where are you located?
We are located in the heart of the South Wedge neighborhood at 571 South Avenue, between Hamilton and Averill Ave.
Check out the MAP below
Are you along a bus route?
Yes. RGTA Bus #45 & #83.
Do you have parking?
Yes. Our parking lot is accessible from both Hamilton St and Averill Ave.