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About City Foods
City Foods is a grocery co-operative in Tippecanoe County IN, currently transitioning to an online store. Thanks to contributions from the Lafayette community and our local farmers, we're proud to offer a growing line of local and organic products. Our store is open to all, including City Foods Members!

Contact Us
CityFoodsCoOp [at]


What is a food co-op?

Simply put, a food co-op is a group that buys food and household items for its members. The co-op helps members obtain access to products of desired quality at the best possible price. Many co-ops sell primarily natural foods; however, some co-ops offer a full line of groceries.

Some food co-ops operate out of retail facilities. These stores are open to anyone who wishes to shop there, though they may provide special services, prices, or benefits to members only. Food co-ops may also offer a wide range of products and services aside from groceries, including cooking and nutrition classes, house wares, food service and catering.

Why a food co-op?

The primary mission of City Foods is to provide healthy produce, meats and dairy products that are locally grown and produced. The co-op will obtain foods of desired quality at the best possible price and will offer a retail environment that is free of coercive sales influence with full disclosure of product qualities and value. Co-op members will receive discounts at the store, but we will welcome everyone to shop.

What does local mean?

In very simple terms, buying food locally means supporting area farmers, growers and business people financially. Carbon emissions will be reduced as truck loads of produce will not need to be shipped across the country. Jobs in Greater Lafayette will be created.

What does local mean? (in full)

  • Protect Local Character and Prosperity: Greater downtown Lafayette is a cultural and social center. By shopping locally, you can help Lafayette maintain and develop its own distinct flavor. City Foods will provide you with a spot where all your food items are as local as possible. You won’t have to worry about how far your food traveled before it came into your hands.
  • Community Well-Being: Locally owned businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbors, and contributing to local causes. City Foods has already created a new community in Greater Lafayette, bringing together people in the area from diverse backgrounds.
  • Local Decision Making: Local ownership means that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions. As a cooperative, City Foods will put the power in the hands of the members: you will be making the decisions.
  • Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy: Your dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have at least two times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.
  • Public Benefits and Costs: Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, town centers, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

What is the purpose of City Foods?

Our mission is to serve the nutritional, social and economic needs of our members and community by providing a market for local, fair-trade, sustainable, independent and healthful goods and services in a friendly, cooperative environment.

The purpose of City Foods is to promote and support the development of member-owned cooperative businesses and services, especially in and around Greater Lafayette, Indiana. City Foods is a not for profit organization for member benefit.

Who is in charge of the co-op?

Members run the cooperative, so you are in charge of City Foods. Each membership is allowed one vote toward board member elections and other important decisions. As of now the board members and officers are:

  • President: Rae Schnapp
  • Board Members: Erika Foster, Cody Hall
  • Transition Team: Lise Maddox,  Jaynie Keniston

What are the benefits of becoming a co-op member?

You will…

  • Enhance your community through your investment.
  • Empower City Foods volunteers to collect more donations, grants and loans in order to create a more vibrant storefront in the greater downtown area.
  • Be provided with products and services direct from your community.
  • Become a part of a new community of area residents who are interested in supporting downtown businesses and cultures; local farmers, producers and craftspeople; and tasty natural food.

As a member you are entitled to…

  • Shopping at a community-owned and grown grocery in the greater downtown area.
  • Vote in board elections and other referenda that help set the direction of the co-op.
  • Run for the Board of Directors and serve Board committees.
  • Savings on groceries through member only sales promotions.
  • A patronage refund or shopping discounts (to be decided by members).
  • Being an active participant in this business, which means empowering the community.
  • Member investments in the co-op makes the community stronger by pooling resources to solve our own food needs.
  • Improved local economy: the co-op creates jobs in Greater Lafayette and a thriving market for the local agricultural community.
  • A capital certificate indicating your ownership share of City Foods.
  • Discounts on classes and workshops sponsored by the co-op.

How do I become a member?

In order to become a member, you must fill out the member application (available online or in our brochures, which are floating around town) and provide City Foods with a one time, fully refundable investment of $200. The $200 goal can also be reached in increments of $25 or more as long as the full membership is achieved within 1 year.

After filling out the application form and achieving full membership status, the City Foods membership committee will review your application and return to you (via postal mail) your signed share certificate and a membership card.

When are you opening the store?

We are opening an online store soon!

Why greater downtown?

  • Greater downtown is a cultural center, the core of the city.
  • Trolley and proximity to bus station
  • Proximity to University
  • Food the greater Lafayette downtown really needs more healthy food shopping for its population base.

Can I shop at the store even if I am not a member?

Yes, however, Non-members will not have a vote in how the store is run or be able to enjoy any member benefits, but everyone will be welcome to shop.

Can I become a member after the store opens?

You are welcome to become a member at any time.

City Foods is a value proposition. Consider the VALUE of having…

  • A full-service grocery in the greater downtown area.
  • A business with $2+ million retail sales annually.
  • Thirty employees working downtown (with benefits).
  • A downtown destination anchor and magnet.
  • One less empty storefront.
  • Year-round point of sale for locally grown produce.
  • Local money kept as local as possible.

How can I get involved?

Send us a note at or come to one of our meetings. We have lots of work to do, so everyone is welcome to help the co-op grow!