Triad Buying Co-op: An Introduction
What is it?
- (TBC) is a co-operative organization, democratically governed and operated by its members, who pool resources of talent, time and money to purchase high quality natural products at prices at or below those available in retail outlets.
- We order and receive staples such as dairy products, bread, eggs and selected seasonal produce every week, and a full complement of food and non-food items every four weeks at our location in West Salem Square on Marshall Street in Winston-Salem.
- TBC has a web-based ordering system, and much of our communication is by email, therefore, access to the internet is required.
What can I buy?
- Locally raised produce, meats, dairy products, eggs and more directly from local farms.
- All natural packed grocery products from United Foods, a food distributor.
- Herbs, supplements, and personal products from Frontier Natural Products.
- Cheese, butter and related products from Cornucopia Cheese.
- Locally produced milk, butter, and ice cream from Homeland Dairy.
- Breads and other prepared foods from local restaurants or bakeries.
- And a variety of other food and household items.
How much does it cost?
- TBC purchases goods at wholesale prices. TBC members pay a fixed percentage “bump” on their orders: 5% for working members and 10% for non-working members.
- You will pay North Carolina sales taxes on all purchases.
- All members deposit $50.00 before they make their first purchase. The deposit is refunded if a member leaves, provided their account is paid in full.
- The co-op collects annual dues at the beginning of every calendar year to cover fixed expenses, like rent. In 2013, the amount was $35. New members do not pay dues in the calendar year in which they join.
- Members pay a non-refundable $40.00 new member set-up fee when they join.
Will I save money buying from TBC?
- It depends on how you’re shopping now. If you usually buy all your food and groceries from stores specializing in whole, organic or sustainable sources, you might save quite a bit.
- Some products available through TBC are considerably cheaper. Some may be only slightly less or similarly priced.
- As a member, you will have a chance to purchase some items in bulk, which can lead to significant savings.
What do I have to do to be a working member?
- Work means exactly that: Doing a job every month that takes about 3 to 4 hours.
- Your application will help us determine what job and which shift you will be offered.
- If you accept a working membership, you must work your assigned job even if you don’t place an order that month.
- Don’t worry, we have lots of different jobs, and we’ll train you. We’ll work with you to find the right fit.
- Be part of a unique community. Work shifts are a fun time to get to know the other co-op members.
How do I get my food?
- Our regular monthly delivery of all products takes place every four weeks (13 times a year) on a Thursday. You must be able to pick up your order between 10:30 am and 5:30 pm on Thursday.
- We also offer staples weekly (dairy, eggs, bread and a few in-season local veggies) through “TBC-Tuesday.” You must be able to pick up your order on Tuesday between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.
- We cannot guarantee that your co-op job will let you co-ordinate your shift hours with your order pick-up.
What are other benefits?
- It's fun to work together for a common purpose with interesting people.
- You can reduce your trips to grocery stores.
- You will use less packaging.
- You will be supporting local/organic farmers.
- Fresh food tastes great!