Why Join?

A co-op is owned by the people who use it and operates for the benefit of its owners and community. Consumer cooperatives are very different from privately owned "discount clubs," which charge annual fees in exchange for a discount on purchases. The "club" is not owned or governed by the "members" and the profits of the business go to the investors, not to the members. At the Co-op, instead of a fee, there is purchase of shares (or paying into an equity investment). These investments allow the Co-op to expand its inventory, make improvements, finance operations, and minimize debts. The members own the business and the profits belong to the community.

There are more reasons to join CNFC than just economic benefits! As a part of our co-op you support a marketplace for healthy and wholesome products, a source of information regarding the natural foods industry, the promotion of our local economy, and much more! Feel good about supporting a business fueled by the needs and requests of the community it serves.

There’s no risk in investing; your shares are fully refundable. There is a minimum investment of $25.00 for 1 year and a maximum of $300.00 to be fully invested.


Anyone can shop here, but why miss out on the owner benefits?

Co-ops are a place where everyone is welcome. While you don't have to be an owner to shop, it's easy and fun to join. Best of all, you'll feel good sharing in the bounty of a business that will be locally owned forever, a business with integrity that supports the local community and at the same time builds connections with our local growers. Below are some of the many benefits of being an owner of Chico Natural Foods Cooperative.

  • Monthly Specials: Each month products all over the store are discounted for owners. All current owners will receive the discount on selected products whenever they shop that month and they present their owner card. Owners don't have to ask for this discount. If they are current on their share payments and they present their card, they will automatically receive this discount. Each month's discounts are published in our monthly sales flyer available in the Co-op.
  • Patronage Dividends: A patronage dividend is a distribution a cooperative pays to its owners (investors). Patronage dividends are given based on a proportion of profit made by the business. Once this amount is determined, the dividend is calculated according to how much each owner has spent during that fiscal year at the Co-op.
  • Those who are in economic need can apply for our Economic Assistance Program which offers 5% off all puchases to qualifying owners.
  • 5% case discount on items purchased in case quantities (excluding sale items).
  • Vote in all Co-op elections.
  • Receive quarterly coupon books.
  • Utlize our Owner Appreciation Day, where all owners receive 10% off all their purchases!
  • Opportunity to run for Board of Directors or serve on any of its advisory committees.
  • Product discount coupons are given to owners 4 times a year..
  • Subscription to the CNFC Health e-Newsletter.
  • You may refund your equity shares should you choose to leave the Co-op.
  • Receive owner advantage pricing at other Northern American NCGA Cooperatives.

How to Join

Joining Chico Natural Foods Cooperative is easy! Simply submit an Ownership Application to a cashier and make your first purchase of Owner Equity Shares ranging from $25.00-$300.00. Applications are available at each of the cash registers in the Co-op or you can download the ownership application form (PDF).

Download a renewal form here!

If you have any questions regarding ownership at CNFC, please contact our Ownership and Outreach Coordinator, Joey Haney, at jhaney@chiconatural.com or (530)891-1713 ex. 111