Co-Op Store: How To Participate And Get Paid (Fairly)?

Business By rwarren Updated 9 Nov 2010 , 5:25pm by jason_kraft

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rwarren Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:53pm
post #1 of 2

Dear decorators,

I would value your expert opinion on the following:

The organization that runs our local farmer's market wants to open a permanent fruit store/grocery near me. Mom and I participated in the farmer's market last year with a bake table. (We could not participate this year due to permit restrictions that would have cost us more than the $$ we made all season.)

Talks are underway about the format of the store. Among the formats discussed are co-op, non profit -- i.e. everything *other than* profit. (The ultimate goal is to improve access to nutritious food in a "food desert".) From customer surveys, organic and local products are important, as well as low prices and high quality.

I would like to participate by baking, making candy, etc. Onsite ideally but offsite (from home) is ok too. However I wish to be paid, and paid fairly. I realize I won't make the kind of $$ I make in my "real job" (in I.T., when I am employed -- got laid off last month). However it would not be fair if the other employees are minimum wage or volunteer, and I am not.

So how do I put it politely: I want to be paid for my involvement?

Your thoughts and suggestions much appreciated. Thank you.

1 reply
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jason_kraft Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 5:25pm
post #2 of 2
Originally Posted by rwarren

We could not participate this year due to permit restrictions that would have cost us more than the $$ we made all season.

The legal permits involved in selling packaged food in a retail store typically cost as much or more than farmer's market permits, so I would look into the legal requirements before you go any further.

If the format is similar to a farmer's market where each vendor staffs their own section of the store, the revenue model would be similar to the farmer's market itself, so there would probably be regular fees to cover overhead. If it is a more traditional retail store, they would probably purchase your products wholesale and sell them at a markup.

You can't really compare a vendor's revenue (based on wholesale purchases) with how much the store staff makes (typically an hourly wage).

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