1. What is
the Ripon Food Mill Co-op?
We're a buying club of about 35 Ripon-area families. We combine buying
power to order from a huge selection of mainly natural and organic foods
from United Natural Foods, Inc., the largest U.S. wholesaler of such
foods. We've been active since 1978. The co-op gives its members access
to a much larger choice of high quality foods and personal care products
than even a big city supermarket could provide, at generally
below-supermarket prices and often with substantial savings.
Over 30,000 products! These include frozen and refrigerated foods, bulk
products, groceries, nutritional supplements, and personal care
products. Although no fresh produce, fresh meats or fresh fish are
available, our supplier has frozen meat and fish, and a full line of
refrigerated products (e.g., dairy).
How is this different from supermarket shopping?
* Plan ahead:
Orders are delivered by truck every four weeks (not monthly) on a
Tuesday morning. Member orders are due 8 days ahead. Our order/delivery
schedule is set by United Natural Foods. Once they get into a regular
ordering routine, members find the huge choice of products makes
planning ahead worthwhile.
* Order on-line:
Co-op members order on United Natural Foods' web site (username and
password required), which is integrated with its inventory list. On-line
ordering is fast and easy, and is similar to other forms of shopping on
* Buy more, save more:
Most food products come only by the case (quantity per case varies);
some can be ordered in a partial case, and a few can be bought
individually. Most personal care products (e.g., shampoo, toothpaste)
and supplements (e.g., vitamins) are sold individually. If you buy more,
you can save more. There is a monthly discounted sale list (Specials
some savings are significant (e.g., 20-25% off list price).
* Share cases:
The Food Mill Co-op has a way of sharing cases and bulk products among
its members, using a sharing page on Google Sheets. Members are given
the private web address when they join. So if you only want half of that
10 pound bulk case of organic whole wheat spaghetti, or want to split a
case of frozen organic peas, odds are good that you can find another
co-op member to share the case with you.
We're an all-volunteer organization; it takes many hands for things to
run smoothly. Typically members work one hour or less per month; most
help to process the order when the truck delivers it every four weeks.
There are many small jobs, so something can be found to fit almost
anyone's personal schedule. Most members who are unexpectedly
unavailable arrange with other members or friends or family to fill in
for them and/or pick up their order.
* Pick up your order on time:
Orders must be picked up on the day the United Natural Foods truck
delivers our order (every 4th Tuesday); members can pick up their orders
7:30-10 am and 4:30-6 pm. The co-op has no storefront and no way of
storing member orders. Invoices must be paid at that time; they are
available on-line the day before the delivery. Members check their own
order for accuracy. A hand truck is available to help load. Our delivery
site is the basement of St. Peter's Church on Houston St. in Ripon.
Do you have to be a member to order?
Yes. Prospective members can do a trial order at no charge. New members
pay a one-time $5 fee, with no annual fee after that. The Buying
price list catalogs are needed for ordering, and are
available free on line; a print version of the monthly sale list can be
purchased in advance for under a dollar.
How do you find out more or how to join?
This has been a quick introduction to our co-op. You'll find out more
about the Food Mill Co-op on our web site:
There you'll find the order schedule, and also an FAQ page "How the
Co-op Works," which fills in a lot of details, including how to join.
Questions, or want to do a trial membership? Contact our answer person,
Kat, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This web page was last revised on 8 June 2018 by Eric