About the Co-Op

Our Mission & Vision

Phoenix Food Co-op will be a community-owned cooperative grocer that provides healthy, locally-produced, and accessible food, while also working to create a community space for all people to gather.

We’re a dedicated group of neighbors passionate about building a stronger connection to the food we eat and fostering kinship in our community. Our mission is to bring a food co-op to Phoenix. We aim to make the co-op as inclusive, accessible, and uplifting as we can.

 

Our Board

Ian O'Grady

Ian has been with the Co-op since the project started. Over the past two years, he has been working to advance the project and make the vision of a cooperative grocery store in Phoenix a reality. With his background implementing climate action policies for the City of Phoenix, facilitating inclusive community investments in affordable housing and covid recovery, and embeddedness within the community, he has helped establish the Co-op as a viable avenue for strengthening our food system by sourcing from local farmers, expanding food access, and, ultimately, opening a brick-and-mortar store. He deeply values the community the Co-op has already built and believes in the Co-op’s future as a gathering space and resource for Phoenix’s rich diversity of residents.

 

Gabe Gardner

Gabe is a Chef and Director of Food Programs with Local First Arizona. He has been actively involved and invested in the Co-op sharing his extensive food experience and entrepreneurial background to get the Co-op started. His daily work in the local Arizona food system has given him a background and knowledge to help guide the co-op towards decisions and processes that are in the best interest of all stakeholders and will result in a strong Co-op.

Darren Chapman

 

Darren has worked with food entrepreneurs and in the field of food security in low income BIPOC communities for 30+ years. He has been a leader in gardening, farming, and agri-landscaping efforts with TigerMountain Foundation and Spaces of Opportunity and looks forward to serving on the board and making the Co-op a reality.

Dionne Washington

 

Dionne has served as the co-founder of Project Roots AZ and has done incredible work serving and feeding community. She has dedicated substantial time to the Co-op through its early founding. She has participated in visioning sessions, helped facilitate community meetings, and grow the Co-op's knowledge of the food system and its opportunity to make an impact. Her unique perspective from both the grower and the community side, especially her work in South Phoenix, brings substantial contributions to the Co-op's founding board.

 

Ashley Hoekstra

Ashley is a small business owner in the historic Grand Ave neighborhood near the proposed Phoenix Food Co-op. She is active in the neighborhood maintaining a responsible and kind presence in the downtown Phoenix neighborhood groups and committee meetings. As a member of the board she hopes to continue helping the downtown area grow in a healthy direction. She has a long-standing desire to see a coop exist once again in the valley.

Our Progress So Far

For a summary of our work so far, check out this overview from our October 2021 board meeting.

Also take a look out this December 2020 Arizona Republic feature of the Co-op and our work a year into the project as we navigated our early stages.

What is a co-op?

Cooperatives are people-centered enterprises owned, controlled, and run by and for their members to realize their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations. -International Co-operative Alliance

Unlike corporate chains, food co-ops are totally independent and owned by the community members who shop there. So instead of focusing on investors, food co-ops focus on their community.

Most co-ops (including us!) follow these seven principles:
1. Voluntary and open membership
2. Democratic member control
3. Member economic participation
4. Autonomy and independence
5. Education, training, and information
6. Cooperation among cooperatives
7. Concern for community

Learn more about cooperatives here.