Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to be an owner to shop at Oryana?
- What is a co-op?
- Why should I become an owner?
- How do I join the co-op? How much does it cost?
- Who can become an owner?
- Is there a family ownership?
- Do you have gluten-free products? How about dairy-free? Vegan?
- What kind of food do you sell?
- What does it mean that you are a certified organic store? Does that mean everything you sell is organic?
- Why should I shop at Oryana when I can get organic products cheaper at Meijer?
No you don't! Anyone can shop at the co-op. In fact, bring your friends, your neighbors, your kids, your parents, anyone who likes a fun, friendly atmosphere and great food.
A cooperative is a special form of business owned and managed by the people who provide and/or use the goods and services that the business provides. They pool resources to satisfy a common need and provide these goods and services as economically and efficiently as possible. A co-op is owned by the people who use it.
As locally owned businesses, co-ops are committed to the people they serve and the communities they live in. Owners can have a voice in what is available for purchase, as well as in the overall organization of their particular co-op. Owners get the most buying power for their money, and the money stays in the community, contributing to its economic strength.
Like other cooperatives, Oryana operates according to the 7 Cooperative Business Principles.
- As an owner, you actually do own the Co-op. You will be taking a direct action to bring local, organic, and natural foods to your community and your family. As an owner, you can run and vote for the Board of Directors and make proposals for the rest of the membership to vote on.
- Special discounts: Every owner receives a 5% discount on six transactions of their choosing each year. You can also order by the case and get an averageof 20% off. You may enjoy discounts on cooking and other classes.
- Dozens of area businesses have partnered with us to offer discounts and incentives to Oryana owners.
- You will be supporting locally-owned business and creating a better community not only for your neighbors but also for the farmers and producers we support.
- Owner Appreciation Days - Four times a year, Oryana holds special event days celebrating our owners. On these days, we offer unique discounts and giveaways to owners who shop at Oryana.
- As an owner, you will be eligible to receive a patronage rebate. Each year that the co-op turns a profit that doesn't have to go back into the storefront, the Board of Directors may decide to distribute the money amongst the ownership. How much each owner shopped at the co-op over the course of that year will determine the percentage of the profit he or she is eligible to receive.
The Oryana ownership fee consists of a $15 yearly equity deposit per person (refundable if you choose to cancel your ownership in the future) and a $5 non-refundable annual fee per housefold. Simply visit the Customer Service Desk and fill out an application form.
Ownership is open to anyone who is at least 16 years old.
There is not currently a family ownership that works differently from an individual membership. Each ownership equals one vote, so a family can join the co-op under one ownership, but the family would effectively be splitting the benefits of an individual ownership; the whole family would be entitled to one vote.
We have the area's best selection of products for special diets including gluten and dairy-free and vegan diets. You can easily find gluten-free items by looking for the red 'Gluten-free' shelf tag.
We are a full-service grocery store and carry everything from fresh produce to beer and wine, to body care products and vitamins, to packaged foods. We have a huge bulk foods section and also have the area's largest selection of locally produced goods such as wines, bread, potato chips, cheese, chocolate, soap, candles, and many more items.
What does it mean that you are a certified organic store? Does that mean everything you sell is organic?
Oryana was the first Co-op in the country to become a "Certified Organic" retailer back in 2002. It demonstrates Oryana's long-standing commitment to the importance of certified organic food. Being a "Certified Organic" retailer does NOT mean that everything in our store is organic, but DOES mean that we provide a level of assurance to our customers that the integrity of the organic products you purchase is protected from the farm to your shopping cart. To be certified we must comply with strict USDA rules that include storewide and departmental procedures, staff trainings, a filtered water supply, proper storage and handling of organic foods, and a paper trail of third party certifications to name just a few. Recertification is done on a yearly basis.
Spending your dollars at a local business such as Oryana ensures that the money stays and circulates in our community. 60¢ of every dollar spent at a locally owned and operated business is put directly back into the community vs. only 20¢ of every dollar spent at a chain store. Oryana is a huge supporter and promoter of local farmers, producers, and service providers and as such we believe they deserve to be paid decent wages for their goods or services. We believe these products represent high quality products grown or produced sustainably which ultimately benefits our health and that of our community. High quality products that don't contain artificial ingredients, or are grown without chemicals, take more time and energy and thus cost more.
We believe that paying the true cost of food is important, paying our farmers decent wages is important, and supporting our local economy is important, which helps to create a vibrant, living community that benefits us all. So while you might save a few pennies by shopping at big-box stores like Meijer, at Oryana you will get great customer service and know that you are supporting a local, model workplace that cares about its farmers, the community, the environment, and the connection between food and health.