Top 10 FAQs

What is a co-op?

A cooperative is a business owned and managed by its customers. Users pool resources to satisfy a common need, and work to 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.

Do I have to be an owner to shop at Oryana?

This is an easy one – No! As we like to say, “Anyone can shop, Everyone can own.” All shoppers are welcome in our doors but Owners receive added discounts and benefits which you can read about here.

What are the benefits of becoming an owner?

We’re so glad you asked! Our Owners receive added discounts (like an occasional 10% off their entire shopping trip and discounts on Case Orders) as well as unique benefits at nearly 100 local Community Partners. Read our full benefits list here.

How do I become an Owner and how much does it cost?

Becoming an owner is easy and can be done by filling out a simple form at our Customer Service Desk.

Our Ownerships can be purchased annually for $20 (a $15 refundable equity payment if you choose to cancel, and a $5 non-refundable administrative fee). Your Ownership is good for 1 year from the day you sign up or renew.

Note: If you use your 10% off discounts on two $100 transactions, your Ownership pays for itself!

What kind of products do you sell?

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, many more.

The Oryana Café is full-service offering made-to-order salads, sandwiches, bowls, smoothies, juices and espresso. We follow the same product purchasing guidelines in our café as we do in our store, meaning you’ll find many certified organic and local ingredients as well as full options for Vegans, Vegetarians, and those with food sensitivities.

How do you decide which products to bring in?

Oryana is committed to purchasing local products when available with our preference on local products that are certified organic. Oryana is committed to selecting the highest quality products to meet a variety of customer needs. Our buyers are guided by our Product Purchasing Guidelines, which you can read in full here.

What does it mean that you are a Certified Organic Retailer?

Oryana was the first Co-op in the country to become a “Certified Organic” retailer 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. Re-certification is done on a yearly basis.

Do you have specific store sections (i.e. Gluten-Free, Vegan, Fair Trade)?

Because Oryana carries a wide range of products to meet many dietary and allergen needs, you will not find a ‘Gluten-free’ or ‘Vegan’ section. We tag all items on our packaged grocery shelves that are Gluten-Free (so you can expect to find Gluten-Free options in all of our aisles) and include clear labeling on our Café items for dietary preference and food sensitivity.

What does “local” mean to Oryana?

You can be sure that any product in our store that is listed as ‘local’ has come from within 100 miles of our door. While not all local products are organic, we do believe that carrying clean local choices helps to support our local economy and reduce travel time for your food so that you are getting the freshest product possible.

What does “Oryana” mean?

In 1973, the original founders of Oryana chose that name because it refers to a South American goddess of fertility, harvest and abundance. Now you’re ready for that question on Jeopardy!