Mariposa is organized according to the principles of the international co-operative movement to provide residents of West Philadelphia and beyond with access to and information about food, especially healthy, locally-grown or otherwise sustainably-produced products. Our primary activity is running a food co-op owned by those who shop there, who actively participate in its governance and operations on an egalitarian consensus-seeking basis.
Each member is required to pay member equity. This member equity is your “owner investment” in the co-op and is refundable when you end your membership (minus any money or work hours you owe).
- The total member equity for a one membership account is $200. If two members are listed on an account, the total equity required is $400. If three or more members wish to be listed on an account and share the same address, they may request to have reduced equity investments. Ask a staff for more details!
- For those who cannot pay $200 upon joining, a minimum payment of $25 is required and $25 will be billed quarterly directly to accounts who have not reached their $200 ceiling. Alternative smaller or larger payment plans are available upon request.
Mariposa member accounts can have one or more members listed under a single account name. Shared accounts are designed for members who are financially interdependent (in regards to the co-op). Multiple member accounts share food credit, discounts, owed/banked hours, and a purchase history. Existing members can combine or divide their accounts at any time.
Members are only able to shop on accounts they are listed on. However, minors can shop on their parents’ account (members should inform the co-op of their dependent’s name/s). As well, Care Taker Shopping Passes can be requested by a member. A Care Taker Shopping Pass enables a non-members to shop on a member’s account (accessing that member’s full discount) and will be made available to people in the following circumstances:
- Individuals shopping on behalf of a member who is sick, injured, disabled, or for whom accessing the store is otherwise challenging or impossible.
- Individuals providing childcare (on an ongoing/recurring basis) for a member’s child who wish to make purchases on that member’s account on behalf of the child or the member’s household.
Mariposa has historically been a working member only co-op, however work-shifts are no longer a requirement for membership. We encourage members to work a shift; member labor plays an important role in the Mariposa’s operations and helps to maintain meaningful member leadership. Members who do work will receive an additional 5% discount off all purchases at the register, and a chance to participate in helping to run the organization. There are a variety of workshifts to choose from. You will choose whether to be a “working” or “non-working” member at your orientation, however you can contact the membership coordinator to switch at any time.
Discounts will be averaged on shared accounts that include both working and non-working members (example: an account with one working member and one non-working member will receive a 7.5% discount off the shelf price). As a household you can share the discount, which means that you are able to decide how many workshifts you want to take on. In order to receive the full 10% discount all members of the household must be working or one member can work multiple shifts to cover other members of a household.
We have access to thousands of different products, including food service and bulk sizes of many items. Speak to one of our buyers if you are interested in purchasing items in bulk or by the case, or ordering items or sizes that we do not currently stock. Please note that a case is the minimum quantity to order for many (though not all) items. What constitutes a case varies from product to product. Any item that is ordered in a bulk size or by the case will receive a 10% discount off the shelf price. For items that are available from our distributors individually or in partial cases, speak to a buyer about what quantity garners a special order discount. Special orders can only be filled if you have enough credit on your account to cover the estimated cost of the order (unless you are paying with food stamps/EBT).
All purchases must be paid for by cash, personal check, money order, EBT (food stamps or cash benefits), travelers checks, or credit/debit card. Checks should be made payable to “Mariposa, Inc” and you should include your account name in the memo field of the check. Mariposa accepts EBT (SNAP/food stamps). According to law, food stamps cannot be used to pay for non-food items, anything consumed in the store, or for credit or debt. If you want to use EBT food stamps to pay for a bulk order, you must note it on the order form; otherwise it will be billed directly to your account upon arrival and become part of your pre-existing balance.
All members are able to add credit to their accounts for use on future purchases. Money can be added at the register or through Paypal using MESS. Members are encouraged to keep their balance either at zero or with a credit; for those who are experiencing financial difficulties, small purchases can be left on the account to be paid in the future. New members may carry a debt of $5.
YOUR MESS ACCOUNT
When you join the Co-op (if you provide us with an e-mail address) you will receive an email with a link to MESS (the Mariposa Electronic Storage System). Once you are logged in, you can view your work shift history, upcoming shifts, shopping transactions, account balance, member equity and more. You can also update your contact information. mess.mariposa.coop
UPDATING YOUR ACCOUNT
If your contact information changes, please notify a staff member or update it online through MESS. For any other concerns regarding your membership information, your shift options or status, your attendance record, or leave of absences, call the office at 215-729-0303. For all other inquiries, call the store at 215-729-2121.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA)
If you will be away from the Co-op for more than a month, you can arrange a leave of absence. Your departure and return dates must be established with staff. Taking a leave of absence is an agreement with the Co-op that you will not be shopping during that time and will not be expected to do work shifts or pay equity until your return. Your leave of absence may last no longer than six months.
DEPARTING THE CO-OP
For accounts that are active, membership does not expire. If you wish to permanently close your co-op account, you must inform a staff member or contact Membership Coordination. You can request your equity to be refunded or donated to our revolving equity fund. To receive a full refund of your member equity, you must be up to date on work shift hours and not have a debt on your account. If you depart the co-op owing shift hours, $20 will be deducted from your equity return for each hour you owe. If your account remains inactive, or you owe a balance or workshifts for over four months your account will be in jeopardy of being closed (a notice will be sent to the address and/or email we have on file). If you do not claim your equity within two years, it will be reinvested into Mariposa Food Co-op.