Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

Press Release -- June 2nd, 2011

HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide. NCGA helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. By Friendly City becoming a member of NCGA, Harrisonburg area shoppers will enjoy more favorable prices at the co-op’s check out lanes when it opens this month.

NCGA, founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops nationwide. The association’s 120 members and associate co-ops operate more than 150 storefronts in 33 states, with combined annual sales over $1.3 billion.

Friendly City’s 4,000-square-foot facility on East Wolfe Street is slated to open in early June. A grand opening will take place July 9. Friendly City’s membership includes more than 1,220 households, a number expected to grow in the weeks and months ahead, said General Manager Steve Cooke.

Friendly City, a consumer-owned grocer co-op, integrates local and sustainable food systems, cooperative business values and environmental stewardship into a lively community marketplace, said Cooke. “Area residents committed to sourcing healthy foods, quality goods, and local products have been developing the Friendly City Food Co-op for nearly 6 years,” Cooke noted. “We’re thrilled to become a member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association. As members of NCGA, we will have access to national support, tools, data and competitive pricing for our members and customers.”

Cooke previously served as general manger at Atlanta-based Sevananda Natural Foods Market, one of the Southeast’s largest food co-ops, before joining Friendly City.

NCGA is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence in recognition of the application of cooperative values and principles to drive cooperative and business success. “Co-ops born out of community demand for local, organic and healthy foods—like Friendly City Food Co-op—not only provide shoppers with delicious food but also help influence the way we eat and produce food in this country,” said Robynn Shrader, CEO for NCGA.

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