PT Food Co-op

The Food Co-op, 414 Kearney Street, Port Townsend, 98368
Port Townsend
Phone: (360) 385-2883

News from the Board Oct 2014




The Board is proposing to implement a patronage dividend system for The Coop. The system would allow us to re-allocate some of our end of year profits—money that otherwise would be paid as taxes! This option is a benefit open only to cooperatives, as a way of redistributing profits back to the membership. Though the amount any member owner might receive is small, the cumulative effect of bringing thousands of dollars back into our community is significant. In order to make this change, a quorum of the membership must vote whether to amend our Articles of Incorporation to include provisions governing how the system would be implemented. And because our original articles were actually filed under the wrong statute 42 years ago, this also gives us the opportunity to resolve that old history.

A 25 day voting period will begin October 25, 2014. Members should look for an email with instructions for voting online. Alternatively, members may vote by paper ballot in the store during the voting period.


Download and read the full text of the proposed and existing Articles of Incorporation.



Find answers to frequently asked questions about Patronage Dividends:


Attend a Special General Meeting on October 25, 2:15pm-4pm at the Senior Center/Rec Center in uptown Port Townsend. All members are invited to come and learn more about the proposal.

Talk with members of the Board and/or the GM in the Store Alcove during the following days/times: Friday Oct 24, 11am-2pm, Monday Oct 27 2:30-5:30pm, Saturday Nov 8 2:30-5:30pm, Monday Nov 10 2:30-5:30pm & Monday Nov 17 2:30-5:30pm.

Review an article on Patronage Dividends from Board Secretary Lisa Barclay (originally published in the Spring 2014 Commons):

A Patronage Dividend System: Keeping Our Money in Our Community

Read an “opposing view” submitted by a concerned co-op member:

An Opposing View


At the Board Meeting Tuesday October 7, 2014 the board voted to adopt an amendment to Article II Membership and Article VII Capital of the By-Laws. The amendment updates and clarifies the definition of “Active Member” status, which determines eligibility to vote in co-op elections. These changes will be in effect for the upcoming Patronage Dividend vote beginning October 25th.

  • Voter eligibility will be determined at the end of the day before voting begins. This is the biggest change from our previous policy.  Members will no longer be able to pay CI during the voting period to become eligible.
  • Members will need to have shopped at The Food Co-op at least one time during the previous 12 months in order to be eligible to vote.

Summary: Active Member By-law Change

Active Member Bylaws change approved 10.7.14

Thank you for taking the time to be an informed and engaged member of the Food Co-op!

Members may contact the board at

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4 Responses to “News from the Board Oct 2014” Comments are currently closed.

  1. Bill Janis says:

    This is all nice, but a better way to “distribute benefit to the community” would be to lower the prices. Some prices are just ridiculously inflated. Compare prices to the Sunny Farms outside of Sequim. Of even the soy milk sold at Safeway. The kale salad sold in the deli? Come on, that’s just priced WRONG. THIS is how you help the community.

    • Sheila Lauder says:

      I agree that the prices are inflated at the PT Co-op. I don’t know if that’s because we have a much higher overhead, or pay employees better…but whatever the reason I think it’s something the Board needs to address.

      I find myself shopping less and less at the Co-op because it’s so expensive. I understand it’s hard to be competitive against the large stores like Safeway, but I have to think we can do better to compete.

      I’m retired. I live on my Social Security income and a tiny, tiny, pension from my Union. Port Townsend has a pretty large population of retired people.

  2. Janet haber says:

    The prices in the deli are way to high.In speaking to folks in town,they don’t shop at the coop because of the overall high prices.

  3. Sheila Lauder says:

    PS:Big stores today more and more offer organic food. I think this have made a big turning point.