Frequently Asked Questions

Dubuque Food Co-op FAQs

Do I have to be a member-owner to shop at the Co-op?

Absolutely not. Everyone is welcome to shop at the Dubuque Food Co-op!

Are there limits to the number of members the Co-op can have?

Nope. The more, the merrier! Plus, the more members we have the more financially stable and secure the store will be.

What input will member-owners have?

We welcome input and will strive to be responsive to all members’ suggestions and comments. Most importantly, you'll be able to vote for candidates for the Board of Directors, or even become one yourself, and the Board guides the growth of the Co-op.

Are there any service requirements?

There are no service requirements, but there will be volunteer opportunities for interested members.

Is my owner share refundable?

Absolutely. If you move away or decide you’d no longer like to be a member-owner of the Co-op, the Co-op is required to buy back your common stock at par value ($100). As the store becomes profitable the Board has the discretion to issue dividends. These dividends would be divided up based upon the amount of purchases you made over the course of the past fiscal year.

Can businesses, churches and other entities become members?

Yes. They will retain the same rights and privileges as individuals. We request that purchases made by entities such as these use a check or credit card issued in the name of the entity.

Would producers be required to become member-owners in order to sell products to the store?

No, but we’d love all local growers to become member-owners!

Will you be accepting SNAP/EBT payments?

Yes!

Will there be parking available?

There will be parking available in a lot directly across the street. There will be 30 spots dedicated to Co-op shoppers during business hours. There will also be very short-term curbside parking directly in front of the Co-op for loading groceries. 

What is your definition of local?

For our purposes “local” is anything within 90 miles. Dubuque is roughly equidistant between other towns with co-ops all of which are about 90 miles away.

What is your relationship with the Farmers Market? CSAs?

We have no formal relationship with the local markets and CSAs but fully support them. We feel that we will be expanding the market for local and organic products and not competing with these other existing outlets. In fact, many of the market vendors and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) growers will be providing products for the Co-op and we will provide them with additional opportunities to grow their business.

I grow vegetables, fruits and chickens. How can I become a vendor for the Co-op?

Send an email to jamieeasley@yahoo.com. She is serving as the point of contact until we get closer to making inventory decisions.

Will there be community kitchen space available?

Not initially. As we grow we would love to be able to offer a certified kitchen for member-owners and other community members to use for canning and other processes, but for now our priority is opening and running a healthy community-oriented store.

Why did you choose to locate downtown?

This was a decision that steering committee and Board members wrestled with for over a year. Ultimately, a number of factors steered us to the Historic Millwork District. A key was the support we have gotten from our landlord, and we truly feel like we are mutual partners in this endeavor.  We are confident that residents of the region will be very impressed with the Millwork District and choose to make it a destination.

Isn’t there already an organic and natural food store in downtown Dubuque?

The Food Store is a long-time Dubuque institution where you can purchase some of the best prepared foods you can find in the area as well as grocery items. Long-time owner of The Food Store Michael Breitbach was very involved in the initial steering committee for the Co-op and is one of the signers of the Co-op’s Articles of Incorporation. Michael’s daughter Maple and her husband David now own The Food Store, and we hope that fans of local and organic food in our community of 60,000+ can support both the Co-op and The Food Store!

When will the DFC be open?

Soon!  We'll provide more information as things develop!