Letters to the Editor

Life without the Co-op?

To the Editor:


Do we really want to live in Swarthmore without the Co-op? Close your eyes and think for a minute. Feel good?

I didn’t think so. I’d miss the Truckathons. And where else would I randomly run into so many of you?

What would you miss?

Did you catch the article from the Co-op Board President a couple of weeks ago? We are skating dangerously close to some very thin ice.

What can you do?

Shop Co-op First. Most people who shop at the Co-op frequent other stores as well. That’s cool. But make the Co-op your first stop more often. You’ll find great prices on some bulk staples, more than 143 local products, seasonal produce and enticing prepared foods, and a real, old-school butcher who cuts meat in-house.

Spend $3.84 a week more at the Co-op each week. Whether you use the Co-op as your convenience store, the destination for your school-age child’s bike ride, or as the main source of your weekly shopping, a critical mass of people spending just a few more dollars there each week will make a difference.

Become a member. One of the cool things about the Co-op is it’s not just a store. It’s a cooperative venture in which members literally own the enterprise. If you can, make a commitment and buy equity.

I don’t want to live in Swarthmore without the Co-op. Do you? Sincerely.

Helen Nadel
Former Board Member

Lost without the Co-op

To the Editor:

The Nextdoor Swarthmore bulletin board has had an ongoing discussion about the merits of the Swarthmore Co-op. Here is my two cents from that thread.

I do 90% of my grocery shopping at the Co-op. There are a few things that I get at Target, a few things that I have to go to Martindale for, and rare (twice a year?) trips to Acme for things I can’t get or it doesn’t make sense to buy at the Co-op, but I never bundle my grocery shopping into these trips.

The Co-op carries amazing diversity for its size. Different price points, commercial and local; name brand and health food. As others have mentioned, they do special orders. They take suggestions. Their customer service is beyond compare. I returned spoiled meat without a receipt, and they replaced it with an extra 25% weight.

Half the cash register staff knows my member number by heart. They have a member discount program that lets a member choose the day of the month to exercise the privilege. I can pre-pay a tab, and then just buy groceries on tab with no card or cash, just my member number and name. So I can walk to the Co-op with a canvas bag, and no purse, and walk back without a purse dangling and bumping into the groceries or adding weight to my shoulder. Even a house guest (visiting adult children) can pick up groceries on our dime by providing our member number and name.

They put out samples. They have vendors that setup tables to provide samples. They arrange food truck days. The Co-op is even a town square. I often run into people I know. Other contributors note that it supports recycling, food and clothing collections, collections for hurricane victims.

The Co-op does extensive surveys, and has committees and management teams working hard to meet the tough challenge of keeping the Co-op alive. The prepared foods are far superior to other sources.

If the Co-op were to close, I’d be lost. Lost.

Robin Schaufler

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