Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a food co-op?

A food co-op is a not-for-profit grocery store that is owned and run by members. Co-ops generally adhere to principles such as democratic and representative governance as well as community social development.

You can find out more about food co-ops by watching this video.

What is the Berry Road Food Co-op?

The BRFC is a volunteer run initiative to establish a co-op grocery store in The Shoppes at Stonegate retail centre in the new Backyard Neighbourhood Condos development located at 150 Berry Road in South Etobicoke.

What will the store sell?

The BRFC will be a “regular” grocery store that will provide organic, locally and responsibly sourced products at lower prices than typically found in a for-profit chain grocery store. The store will also sell fresh and convenient “take away” meals and products that are normally found in other grocery stores. In addition, the BRFC will host food education events and work with community partners to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents.

And, to top it all off, the store will also have a cafe!

Who is involved in getting the co-op established?

A volunteer founding Board of Directors is steering the project.  The board members are Etobicoke residents who are working on key activities including creating bylaws, awareness building, fundraising and developing the store’s layout.  The initiative is highly supported by Justin Di Ciano, Ward 5 City Councillor, and Peter Milczyn, MPP Etobicoke-Lakeshore. The developer of the new retail building, which will house the BRFC, has contributed towards leasehold costs.  But the BRFC needs further donations to get the store up and running (and stocked with goodness).

James Partanen, an experienced food co-op manager, has been recruited as the store’s Executive Director.  James is assisting with Board activities and will be responsible for running the store.

Who will be able to shop there?

Anyone is welcome to shop at the BRFC, but only members will be eligible to take advantage of special sales and discounts on store items.

How can I support the BRFC?

There are several ways you can give support. You can purchase a lifetime membership for just $10.00. You can become a Founding Patron by donating $200.00 or more. Or, you can provide a contribution of any amount – anything helps.

In addition, the BRFC will welcome volunteers to sit on the Board of Directors, help in the store and assist with fundraising.

Donate now! Fill out our donation form here. Or, contact the BRFC Executive Director, James Partanen, for more information on ways you can help.

Why does BRFC need to raise funds?

As an independent not-for-profit enterprise, the BRFC has no start-up funds apart from what can be raised from individual and corporate donors. The money raised is needed to equip and stock the store, hire a few staff members to set up the store and pay operating expenses such as salaries, utilities and rent until the store is self-sufficient.

$400,000 must be raised by Fall of 2019 to enable a successful 2019 store opening.

What happens to my contribution if the BRFC doesn’t open?

Founding Patron credits will be reimbursed. Any residual funds from memberships and other donations will be donated to one or more Ontario food-related charities, as specified in the BRFC articles of incorporation.