The Co-op uses a team management approach, known as the Board of Managers, which includes the officers of the Co-op as well as the daily managers. All have an equal voice in decision making. We’ve found this to be the most effective way of running the Co-op.


Our pricing strategy is based on pricing the inventory at wholesale, plus shipping. At the time of purchase an additional mark-up will be added to the total bill based on the level of membership. The South Carolina prevailing tax rate will also be added at check-out. Membership fees do not incur mark-up or sales tax.

Because of the new item departments, the Co-op will no longer allow members to bring lists of prices to check out or call out prices to the cashiers. All cashiers are required to visually check the price of the item, enter the price and new key code as appropriate for each item. No exceptions.


The working age limit is 12 unless otherwise approved by the general manager. Parents are encouraged to not bring younger children to the Co-op on days they work.

Mothers with infants will have three months following the birth of their baby to shop under their current working mark-up without having to work their required hours per month. Please contact the General Manager, so a notation can be made on the membership card.

If a month of working is missed, the member will receive the 30% mark-up until at least 4 hrs are worked in advance.

Special request with the General Manager or Assistant Manager is needed if a working member desires to work their annual hours over a several month period in advance.

Working members who desire to be cashiers are required to undergo training at the Co-op. Once the General Manager has approved the member as a cashier, the member will sign an agreement that they will be responsible to financially correct for any shortages of more $3.00 from the cash drawer for that day. In the event of multiple cashiers on one day, the shortage will be evenly divided among the cashiers. Repeated errors on the register or any specific job function by the same member may necessitate that member volunteer for another available job. The cash drawer will be counted by the manager prior to opening and after closing the Co-op for the day.

Note: Attendance at ALL Upstate Food Coop meetings will be credited towards working hours which include General Membership Meetings, Monthly Manager Meetings, Board of Director Meetings and any other specially called meetings.


The Board of Managers typically meets the third Monday of the month at 5:30 PM. Members are welcome to attend.

Since the input of all members is important, general membership meetings will be scheduled at least quarterly to provide more detailed information about the management and financial health of the Co-op to members and receive their feedback. A social hour (potluck or refreshments) may be held prior to the general business meeting.

We also provide updates, current news, future events and special interests in our quarterly newsletter available at the check-out and on our web site :

Requested Orders

The Co-op accepts requests from members for special orders. A notebook – “Member Orders” – located at the check-out counter contains instructions and order forms, where the member is required to fill out the brand name, description, quantity and size of the item they wish to order. The member must also include a date for pick-up. Members are responsible for timely pickup. Please be specific in your requests. Some suggestions for researching a product you’re not sure about: go to the local health food store and see what they have in stock, check advertisements in magazines, such as Vegetarian Times or Natural Health, or do a search on the internet (available at public libraries). Click here for some resources.

Most items will arrive in approximately two weeks. Managers and/or members can check the Order Calendar posted to see when company orders were placed and anticipated deliveries.

Members will be notified by phone when their orders come in if there are enough workers to do so. Members are responsible for picking up their orders on the day they specify on their order forms. This is especially important if perishable items were ordered. We may hold non-perishables for one week, perishables for 2 days. If they have not been picked up in that time, and we do not know of

extenuating circumstances, the items will be put on the shelf for general sale. Members who place orders without specific pick-up dates will be expected to collect their items as they come in. If they prefer to collect their orders in one trip, a pick-up date is needed.

If items are out of stock, they will need to be reordered by the member.

Members who place requested orders are expected to purchase all items ordered and will not be allowed to leave items in their bag on the shelf for later purchase. Managers on duty are not authorized to provide refunds or exchanges of special-order items (see Returns Policy below).


Requested orders – The manager on duty is not authorized to provide immediate refunds or exchanges of special-order items. Refunds or exchanges must be approved by the General Manager. We require notification within 48 hours of purchase if there is a problem with an item that was purchased on or before the original pick up date recorded on the member’s special order form, so that we can notify the Vendor and receive credit. The Co-op reserves the right not to refund or exchange items that exceed these time limits.

The member needs to bring the item in question, a note about the problem and the cash register receipt to the manager on duty, who will inform the General Manager of the return. Once the Co-op has processed the item in question, the member will be notified as to whether it may be exchanged or a refund issued.

General merchandise – If a member wants to return something purchased off the shelf and the return is approved, we will do an even dollar exchange on the day they bring the item and the receipt back–no refunds.


If a member has items they would like to sell on consignment at the Co-op, contact the Consignment Manager via the Co-op. Members should call before bringing consignment articles to the Co-op so that the Consignment Manager can meet with them. All consignment items must be reviewed and approved by the board of managers before being accepted for sale through the Co-op.

Local Produce

If a member has produce they would like to sell to the Co-op, contact Susan Staal, our produce manager, at Local produce must meet our standards of quality, price, presentation and dependability of the supplier/grower.

Co-op Policies (PDF – Adobe format)

Co-op By Laws

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