When a local mom in Squamish, BC was frustrated with the lack of affordable, quality produce in her community, she posted about it on social media. How many other parents would join a group to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk?

Because of the overwhelming response she received, the Squamish Fresh co-operative was born.

Now, Squamish Fresh orders a weekly truckload of fresh produce and divides it among the co-op’s members. The “Fresh Box” has different contents each week, which get listed on the co-op’s Facebook page. The group has over 1,300 followers.

“We use the co-op’s purchasing power to give our members great value, staple produce,” a spokesperson from the co-op said.

“[A co-op] was a business model that suited the structure of the group that was already forming. We worked collaboratively, community-building was certainly at the forefront in terms of our values and, as inexperienced businesswomen, it offered us a business structure with lots of support.”

As passionate believers in “the power of our community to create a healthier, more affordable and connected world”, this co-op aims to have paid employees and a rented premises later this year. With employees the co-op will be able to offer more products, expand the window of time members have to collect their boxes, and give purchasers more control over the produce they receive.

Co-operatives First is proud to have assisted Squamish Fresh to create a business plan and train their board of directors!