Manly Food Co-op A Shopping Surprise
More than just a place to buy sustainable, reusable and organic products, the Manly Food Co-op is an institution with a fiercely protective and proud community.
COVERED. found out it’s also a great place for everyone to pick up groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables, household products and even gifts.
It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, the Manly Food Co-Op in Whistler Street was in danger of closing, before achieving the amazing feat of raising more than $50,000 in just two weeks.
New board member Yvonne Pflieger, who’s in charge of marketing and communications, says, “The Co-Op’s 700 members decided they wanted to fight to keep it open. We told members what was going on and we engaged with like-minded businesses and spoke to the council.
“We managed to raise $53,000 in 12 days. So we saw that there was still all this passion and commitment in the community.”
A new board of ten people was formed to manage the Co-Op in September and it is experiencing something of a refresh as they study what works, what is in demand and what is profitable.
“We have streamlined processes and looked at how we do things like stocktaking, managing volunteers and opening hours and made changes. We are focusing on volunteer and member engagement and doing more on social media,” explains Yvonne.
For many, the Co-Op, that opened in 1996, is seen as the domain of alternative types who are immersed in the eco-friendly world - but a venture inside reveals otherwise.
Manly Food Co-Op stocks delicious snacks and treats that have the added benefit of being good for you, coffee, tea, pantry essentials, beans, as well as freshly baked bread, dips and spreads and household cleaning products, candles, essential oils and creams. There are also KeepCups, stainless steel straws, lunchboxes and beeswax food wraps.
The best sellers are Kombucha sold on tap with a choice of two flavours, bananas and eggs.
The Co-Op buys products that are local, certified organic, biodynamic or chemical free, eco-friendly, good quality and value for money. It tries to source all of its fresh fruit and veggies either locally (within 200km) or within Australia - except kiwi fruits from NZ. None of the products are genetically modified or come from genetically modified organisms.
Friendly staff are happy to go through how to shop and you can sign up to be a member instore.
Membership is an annual $45 fee and this gives you the right to vote in major decisions and 10% off instore.
You become part of the Co-Op community and there are a number of events held in-store that will enhance relationships between members.
If you volunteer, you earn energy points that can lead to further instore reductions. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities both in the store and in other roles.
How To Shop
The Co-Op is dedicated to providing packaging-free produce wherever possible, so they ask that customers bring their own bags, jars and containers.
Follow these simple steps:
- Wash and dry your hands.
- Weigh your empty, clean containers and write down the weight. There are reusable jars and bags for sale if you need them.
- Fill your containers or bags with the good stuff. The Co-Op provides funnels, spoons and other accessories to make it as easy as possible.
Get 10% off your first shop at Manly Food Co-Op - just mention COVERED. Magazine