Ripon Food Mill
          Coop
Quick Facts About the Ripon Food Mill Co-op for New & Prospective Members


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.

2. What's available?
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).

3. 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 the internet.
* 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.
* Participate:
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.

4. 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 Club 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.

5. 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:
http://foodmill.bigw.org.
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: katgriffith@hotmail.com or 920.748.3923.


This web page was last revised on 8 June 2018 by Eric Godfrey.