Who We Are
What We Do
Breadroot Natural Foods Co-op is a cooperatively-owned grocery store located in the heart of Rapid City South Dakota. Focusing on a “Food First” motto, Breadroot Co-op is dedicated to the goal of providing the highest quality food at a fair price.
We specialize in organic and Non-GMO food, as well as local and organic produce, grass-fed meats, bulk spices and herbs, wellness, and supplement products. The co-op strives to carry the newest organic food products. If you are looking for paleo, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, ethnic, or specialty food products we are your Rapid City source!
Mission and Vision
Mission: To promote community involvement in the production, procurement, and distribution of natural and organic foods and other goods and services for healthy living.
Vision: We envision a community strengthened by cooperative economics and driven by concern for the health and well- being of the planet and its inhabitants.
What is a breadroot?
Breadroot Cooperative is named after a native bean (timpsula) whose esculent roots are gathered in June from area prairies. The breadroot is a natural example of the endurance and sustainability we strive to achieve.
What is a cooperative?
Through cooperative effort, a group of people can do what each person alone might never be able to do. A co-op puts business ownership, such as a grocery store, in the hands of people who otherwise would not have the means.
Our motto, “Member owned, open to all”, reflects the fact that Breadroot Cooperative is democratically controlled by the members, and it suggests that not only is the co-op open to all people, but that the store is not for members only. You don’t have to be a member to shop here.
A cooperative is best defined as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.” Breadroot Cooperative was incorporated in November, 2000, and opened for business in January, 2001. Our purpose is stated in the articles of incorporation: To promote community involvement in the production, procurement, and distribution of natural and organic foods and other goods and services for healthy living.
What does membership involve?
A membership in the co-op starts with a $20 payment. Membership gives you ownership in the co-op, and a say in how it is run. That is, a membership has one vote in co-op elections and at meetings, and the right to serve on the Board of Directors. There are three types of membership: Regular for individuals, Regular/Joint for two people sharing a household, and Associate for other businesses and groups. (For details, see the bylaws.)
The initial $20 payment for a membership buys two shares of membership stock, which is Breadroot’s Class A Common Stock. Full membership consists of a purchase of 40 shares. No further obligation is required for membership. The 40 shares may be purchased all at once or by subscription at the rate of two shares every twelve months.
Other terms of membership, such as discounts and volunteer incentives, are set by the members themselves, at member meetings or through the Board. This is your opportunity to shape the future of the co-op. What would you like it to be? Currently, we have a 5% discount for in-store purchases. Additional discounts are also available, including for doing volunteer work for the Co-op.
Additional Member Benefits
Our goal is to provide food and other goods of quality at a fair price. Quality includes how the goods are produced, such as organically, a standard we will strive for (as opposed to synthetically-produced). Price is important because food is a necessity of life, and no one likes to feel ripped-off when buying it.
Our philosophy is to put food first, and keep overhead low. We won’t be building a food palace such as the supermarkets in Rapid City have done. We feature organic produce, and try to buy from local growers whenever we can, to facilitate the production of more food locally. We buy goods in bulk as much as possible, for the cost savings.
Another cost-saving service that members have available is making special orders at a discounted price. In this we function like a food buying club, with some distinct advantages. We are able to order more often than buying clubs do–weekly in fact. We pay lower wholesale prices. We have unlimited membership (clubs generally are limited in size for practical reasons). Whereas the clubs are private, we are open to all, with an advertised storefront that serves the community at large.
Yet another way we provide great service and price is through special ordering on-line. This internet-based system is an efficient, low-cost way to deliver food. In this way, members can conveniently turn their shopping lists into shopping bags full of groceries, to be picked up within a few days.
Accessible Business Ownership for Everyone
Once you join Breadroot, you can say, “This is my store.” Can you say that about many other businesses that you patronize? Ultimately, as the co-op grows, we’ll be able to pay out dividends to our members, based on the amount of patronage done with the co-op. Dividends are another good reason to join, shop at, and spread the word about your store, Breadroot Cooperative.