About the Community Food Co-op

Downtown Co-op at 1220 N Forest St

The Community Food Co-op is Bellingham’s only cooperative grocer!

Cordata Co-op at 315 Westerly Rd

Original CFC in Fairhaven’s Good Earth Building

What began in 1970 in Fairhaven as a single 900-square-foot store with fewer than 10 items has grown to a two-store 13,000-member-strong natural grocer.

We encourage you to participate by shopping, joining, and supporting a sustainable, vibrant community.

Local herbs, carrots, green onions and more!

At the Co-op you’ll find: a certified organic produce department with an emphasis on local; natural and sustainable meat and seafood; local and imported wine; an exciting from-scratch deli for any appetite; an espresso/smoothie bar; great housewares and fun stuff; the most bulk items in town; natural and organic grocery items; in-house baked goods (including Gluten-Free* and Vegan items); organic and hormone-free dairy products; natural supplements and wellness products; and best of all, more of your dollars stay local!

Photo by Bryan Barger

Everyone Welcome – Food may be our middle name, but Community comes first!

Why Join the Co-op?

– Community owned. Businesses need capital; co-ops get it from thousands of small investors who believe in what we do.

– Building a sustainable food economy.  Nobody works with as many local suppliers or carries as many organic products.

– Keeping the money local.   A dollar spent at a local independent business generates at least three times more direct local economic benefit than one spent at an absentee-owned chain.

– Supporting a livable community. We give back every year through donations and sponsorships to non-profits.

– Taking care of our owners. Co+op Essentials program, case special orders at a discount, owner appreciation coupons, and patronage dividends when times are good.

Go Co-op!

*Our bakery and deli items are produced in a kitchen that also uses wheat, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, and soy. While we take every precaution to avoid cross-contamination, our in-house products may contain trace amounts of allergens.

About the Sassy Sampler

My name is Melissa, and I have worked at the Co-op since December 1996.  I was hired into the Front End as a cashier, and have held many positions over my tenure:  Cashier, Service Desk Staff, Sign Maker, Wellness Stocker, Till Counter, Front End Assistant Manager, and most recently, the Co-op’s Administrative Assistant and Sustainability Program Coordinator.

I am not technically a Bellingham native, but I have lived in Whatcom County since I was 1, and my younger brother was born here, so I consider myself a local!  My family moved here from Martinez, CA in the mid 70′s, and I spent four years of my childhood in Saudi Arabia with my family and have lived in Birch Bay, Custer, Blaine and Bellingham.  My husband (Cordata Grocery Manager Michael Elkins) and I currently reside in Bellingham, five blocks from my younger brother.

I get my passion for food from my parents – my dad throws down a mean barbecue, and my mom is a stellar baker.  My mother was a member of a grain buying club in Custer, and I don’t remember much store-bought bread in my childhood.  She is a self-taught cook, and always encouraged me to help in the kitchen.

Living overseas, I was exposed to many different cuisines and customs that have helped shape who I am.  Growing up in the county (when we weren’t traipsing through the woods) we were eating vegetables and fruit right out of the garden or visiting an elderly neighbor for cookies and small talk on an almost daily basis.  Food has always been very community minded for me, and is a good explanation as to why I have found such a good fit with the Co-op.  I believe that through cooking, it is possible to create community.

Between December 2009 and November 2013 I conducted recipe demos at our Cordata store location.  I love talking about food with people, and offering tips and suggestions so this was a great fit.  A couple Fridays a month I would prepare a recipe and sample it for customers and then make the recipe available on my blog (you can find some of the most popular ones at the Cordata Co-op near the bulk department). While I don’t have time to demo recipes anymore due to the administrative demands of my positions at the Co-op, I still love cooking and am available to answer any questions you have about the Co-op, products we carry, or general cooking questions. You can contact me at sassysampler@communityfood.coop. Happy Cooking!

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