The overall theme is “Expanding our Vision of We” beneath that, we have four segments, each with some “stir the pot” content followed by questions to focus the conversation. Here’s the lineup:

Welcoming and celebrating every customer

Cafe conversation:

What does it look like to welcome and celebrate every customer?

Why is it important?

Leadership that embraces and promotes multicultural community

Cafe conversation:

If we look out into our communities, what do we see?

What are we proud of in terms of how we conduct ourselves and our businesses?

What are we still working on?

How does this translate back to the customer experience we’re focused on today?

Deep and valuable relationships with other co-ops and organizations

Cafe conversation:

What are the opportunities?

What does it take to do something transformational by working with others?

What priorities and investments with other organizations would link to an expanded vision of “we?

The benefits of a thriving cooperative with an expanded vision of “we”

Cafe Conversation:

Why bother?

How will this be useful as we consider what it takes to have thriving vibrant food co-ops in the coming decades?

How does this help move us forward?

2018 Presenters

Community Connections, Co-op Opportunities!

Cindee Lolick, General Manager at First Alternative in Corvallis, OR shares several exciting tales of opportunities that First Alt has been given because of their deep and lasting involvement in the Corvallis community.

The Wisdom of “Everyone Welcome?”

Jade Barker, Governance Consultant with CDS Consulting Co-op and co-author of "Everyone Welcome?", shares some of the wisdom that she gained in working on the "Everyone Welcome?" project. In this video Jade shares some of [...]

The Power of an Association of People

Using the Cooperative Principles as her guideposts, Jamila Medley, Executive Director for the Philadelphia-Area Cooperative Alliance as well as a consultant with CDS Consulting Co-op, asks listeners "What are you doing?" Are we doing everything [...]

Social Justice as an End Statement

People's Food Co-op in Portland, OR has been doing the hard work of examining the implications of expanding into a more diverse, and rapidly-gentrifying, neighborhood. While fully acknowledging the difficulties and messiness of confronting racism, [...]

Unity: The New Co-op Mission

The founding vision for Outpost was to be a "safe-haven for people who felt like they weren't included" and Mehnert contends that that mission is truer today than ever. Drawing comparisons to the social rebellions [...]

Who Is Helping Who?

In his role as Executive Director of a Non-Profit Young Kim, Board President at Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee, WI explores implicit biases that we may bring with us while reaching out to "aid" communities [...]

Customers – The Heart of the Co-op

Essential viewing for any cooperator wanting to stay on top of the latest efforts being made by National Co+op Grocers (NCG) to drive the food co-op sector forward with strength and sustainability.  Dave Olson, Co-op [...]

Inclusion: Starting from the Store

You can't have a conversation about inclusion without first expanding the circle and inviting everyone to the table. Prasanna Regmi, General Manager at Davis Food Co-op in Davis, CA talks about the work being done [...]

Co-op: Community Impact Amplifier

1 + 1 = 3 according to Dan Arnett, General Manager of Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. The co-op can, through its interrelationships with the community, amplify the missions of all involved.

Keeping the Co-op at the Table

Co-op donation and local giving programs is sometimes not enough. In order for the cooperative to remain a central and key player in the local community it can sometimes mean getting involved in local government, [...]

Committing to Anti-Racism

The board of directors at People's Food Co-op in Kalamazoo, MI have committed to developing their awareness around racial equity. Board President Hether Frayer tells the Kzoo board story about how they ensconced their social [...]

Cooperation Fosters Deep Roots

Change can be uncomfortable. By discussing what we may be afraid of losing it can be a valuable process to get to being excited about what we might better, or more of. Chris Maher, General [...]

What ‘Everyone Welcome’ Means

The closing of a nearby neighborhood grocer presented what could have been a great sales boost for Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth, MN. But the neighbors weren't beating down the doors of WFD.  Sarah Hanningan, [...]

Is Independence a Barrier to Cooperation?

As a result of the coalescing of the regional Co-op Grocers Associations into National Co+op Grocers GreenTree Co-op was able to undergo a transformational shift in their approach to operations and customer experience. Sarah Christensen, [...]


Stay tuned for more thought-provoking material from:

Mariposa Food Co-op

Central Co-op

About the Co-op Cafe

Co-op directors and their managers are often seeking meaningful ways to tackle questions about the future, build alignment, and take steps toward realizing the goals and vision of their cooperative. A direct path to meeting this objective is for boards, along with their general manager, to participate together in the Cooperative Cafes offered through the CBLD program. It gives co-op leadership an opportunity to work together as a group in a dynamic environment with people from other co-ops.

Each year the Cooperative Cafes will have a changing theme and will contain new content about how leaders can engage constituents and gain support in their communities for co-op growth and development.

Conversations will be highly interactive and focused. Using the World Café conference format, participants will contribute to small group conversations inspired by the speakers and framed by a few powerful questions.

All presentations made at the seminars will be available here in the CBLD Library.

For more information about the Cooperative Cafes and other CBLD events, please visit our website.

Special thanks to NCG for sponsoring the Co-op Cafe series and to NCB for additional support.
Cooperators Attended
Co-ops Represented
States Represented

2018 Photos

Feel free to use any images for your own promotional purposes with attribution.

All photos are optimized for digital viewing, if you’d like to use any in your print newsletters or annual reports please email the Photographer for hi-resolution versions of any images.

Thank you to our sponsors who make the Co-op Cafe series possible!

Thank You for Advancing our Thinking Together!

Continue the Conversation with us in 2019

2019 Events
Event Registration