October is National Co-op Month

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Did you know October is National Co-op Month? Do you know we are a Co-op?

What is a Co-op?

A Co-op is an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet a common need. The community that makes up a co-op jointly-own and democratically control said business.

Simply put, co-ops are created by people who have a specific need and work together to operate a business that meets those needs.

Watch this short video to learn more.

Patchwork as a Co-op!

The purpose of Patchwork Alliance is to provide independent WNC regional growers, crafters, makers and service providers with ownership in a shared marketplace, and to connect them with WNC residents who want local, fresh and natural foods and products, and who value community-owned agriculture, local economy, and cultural diversity.

We ask that our owners abide by the Universal Cooperative Principles:

  • Voluntary and open membership

  • Democratic member control

  • Member economic participation

  • Autonomy and independence

  • Education, training, and information

  • Cooperation among cooperatives

  • Concern for the community.

There is also more than one way to become an owner at Patchwork! Our Workers and Producers are Owners too. We invite local entrepreneurs who produce their own goods or offer services to come onboard as producer-owners, and we also encourage those interested in becoming owners to contribute their skills in exchange for ownership through work-trade opportunities.

Learn more about how to become an owner of Patchwork here.

Why we all should support more co-ops!

From 1964-1970, the U.S. Government sponsored Co-op Month! Co-op Month has actually been a nationally recognized celebration since 1964, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, a former Minnesota governor, proclaimed October Co-op Month. Why, you may ask?