Can anyone shop at The Sugar Beet?

Yes, Sugar Beet Food Co­-op is open to the public, but owners receive discounts and they will have a voice in how the Co­-op operates.

What are the Co-op's hours? 

Sugar Beet Food Co­-op is open everyday from 7AM ­- 9PM.

What does Sugar Beet Food Co-op sell?

Sugar Beet Food Co­-op sells everything you would find at a conventional grocery store, but our products are sourced locally-when possible. We carry all the food you’d want to eat, plus cleaning and body care products. We have an incredible bulk section, as well as beer and wine.

Take a look at our Product Sourcing Guidelines to better understand our commitment to quality food.

What are the prices like?

Sugar Beet Food Co­-op strives to be competitive on pricing and we are constantly working on this aspect of the business. While local and organic food costs more, generally, we are committed to making good food affordable. 

If everyone can shop at The Co-op, why become an owner?

Owners provide community support for The Co-­op. Their investment in buying a share and their involvement make The Co-­op possible. Also owners receive specific benefits:

  • Vote for members of the Board of Directors of The Co­-op and on other matters brought before the owners
  •  Receive 5% off their entire purchase once per month on a date of their choice
  • Special product discounts throughout the store
  • Will receive patronage refunds when The Co-­op becomes profitable

What is a co-op?

Sugar Beet Food Co­-op is more than a grocery store; it is a consumer owned cooperative business. What exactly does that mean? A cooperative business is owned and controlled by the people who use it. The Co­-op currently has over 1200 community members and supporters who have financially invested in the store, and thus are owners. Unlike a business owned by an individual or a corporation, profits from the store return to our owners or are used to help the store better serve our community’s needs.

Is The Sugar Beet a non-profit? 

The Co-op grocery store is a for-profit organization, in keeping with Illinois cooperative law.  However, we have created a non­profit alongside The Co­-op called Sugar Beet Schoolhouse that exists to nurture and serve our diverse community through the practice of cooperative economics and educational programming, honoring a more sustainable relationship between the foods we eat and the world we live in.

Where can I park?

There is a parking lot on Grove Street­ directly across from The Co-­op entrance. You may also find street parking along Madison.

Why do co-ops have so many owners?

A co­-op is created to serve its owners and the greater community. Owners guide the business of a co­-op and also provide the start up financial foundation of the business.

Do owners have to work or volunteer in the store?

No. Owners are not required to work or volunteer in the store but there are opportunities to volunteer and serve our greater community through our Ambassador Program.

What is the Board of Directors?

The Board of Directors is responsible for legal and financial decisions that affect The Co­-op. Directors are elected by owners at The Co-­op annual meeting.

How much does an ownership share cost?

$250 per household. This is a one ­time, lifetime fee. We also offer a reduced rate ownership for those living on a fixed income. Seniors, Students and all others are eligible for this $50 ownership.

What constitutes a household? 

People living at the same address. They don't have to be related but they have to share a fridge. :)