Quincy Natural Foods Co-op and Feather River Food Co-op work to promote local ownership, economic democracy and environmentally friendly business practices.
Begun in 1978 as a buying club, Quincy Natural Foods Cooperative was originally known as Feather River Food Co-op. Over the years the name and location changed but the mission remained the same: bring affordable, healthy foods to the residents of Plumas County. In 2003 we moved to our present location on Main Street, which we purchased and renovated with lots of help from our member-owners in 2002. Then, in 2013, we opened a second store in Portola, calling it by our namesake – Feather River Food Cooperative. Now, with a member-ownership of more than 1,500 and a Board of Directors working to develop the vision, QNFC and FRFC have great support and are able to give back to the community in a multitude of ways. That’s because we’re not just grocery stores, we’re cooperatives. Cooperatives are designed to work for their member-owners, providing them with the goods and services they collectively want. We’re not profit driven the way corporations with investors tend to be. Instead we’re community driven: owned by community members, directed by democratically elected member-owners, and, according to the international Cooperative Principles, out of concern for community we provide education, training, and information. As such we administer:
- the Quincy Certified Farmers' Market (operated as a non-profit contribution to the community),
- the Cooperative Community Fund (funded predominantly through jars at the registers but also through individual donations; grant given annually to local groups working on issues related to sustainable agriculture and organic food, hunger and social issues, environmental protection and cooperatives),
- a recycling program (staff and worker-member organized; we recycle cardboard, glass, plastic, paper, etc. and we compost),
- classes and workshops (on a variety of topics from home gardening to alternative health to cooking),
- Eat-a-Rainbow (a fun program for elementary grade classes introducing a healthy and colorful diet; we offer bread making, salad making, and store tours) Currently being outsourced to Quincy Elementary School via the Digging In Program.
- the Steamers co-ed softball team,
- Demonstration Gardens (staff members grow a variety of organic veggies, fruits, flowers and herbs in the beds in front of the QNFC Learning Center; QNFC provides most of the materials),
- Adopt-a-Highway (four clean-ups conducted with Co-op volunteers every year on the section of Hwy 70 from the top of Cemetery Hill almost out to Golden Eagle Ave.)
- and participate in many community events (including Safe Trick or Treat, Taste of Plumas, FRC Night, and the Homegrown Festival)
In addition to this we also strive for economic, environmental and social sustainability. Every dollar spent at the Co-op has roughly three times as much local economic impact as a dollar spent at a non-locally-owned business. We purchase many of our goods, including office supplies, from local businesses and strive to carry products that reflect our values (such as locally grown, sustainably farmed produce from the Dawn Gardens). We offer biodegradable bags, cutlery and containers and customers can bring in their own jars for bulk items (we simply weigh them before they get filled). We also maintain 33 solar panels on the QNFC building which produce 3,000 KW a day. Join us in supporting our community and bringing affordable, healthy foods and products to Plumas County.