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We are a small pre-order buying club, committed to the principles of sustainability, buying locally, and economic equality. We currently order once a month from Associated Buyers. Bulk foods, grocery items of all kinds, personal care, vitamins & supplements and household goods are all available. Many items can be ordered as individual units rather than entire cases, and bulk items are sold in smaller increments, such as 5 pounds.
For the future, we hope to amass enough buying power to purchase directly from local farmers, other distributors and local producers, and to order more often. We hope to create a cooperative community effort to meet food needs while keeping in mind the environmental and social impacts that so often get left out of the economic price scheme. We welcome anyone who shares this vision to join.
There is no minimum order. There is a 5% markup for working members, and a 15% to 30% markup for non-working members, depending on the category of item. These markups cover costs such as accounting and insurance for all members and delivery and packing time for non-working members.
The entire order is placed online, via the pedalpeople.coop website. Or you can come by Ruthy and Alex's house and look through the catalog and place an order. There's a split-case request system online that allows you to request a part of a case - if others buy in with you, then the case gets ordered. This automated system means there's very little work to be done until the order actually arrives.
After the order comes in those who have time get together and divide things up, splitting up things we've ordered in larger quantities. We have a solar-powered fridge and a grid-powered freezer to store food until it can be picked up.
As much as possible our members pick up their orders on foot or bicycle from a home near downtown Florence. We have carts and bike trailers to lend out as well. We do not ship orders outside of the Northampton area.
We keep track of how many hours of work each member owes based on how many hours an order takes and how much each member orders. You can pay it off to the whole group by helping to unload or divide up the order, or by delivering to those who need it. Or you can do work for any other member who has done more work for the group. This creates a new kind of economy that's based on an hour-for-hour exchange, and we hope to expand this system to other cooperative groups.
Pedal People as a business also participates, and will deliver food within a couple of miles of Northampton or Florence center for a markup. If you are unable to contribute your labor to the collective, you can choose the non-working member option.
We occasionally meet to make decisions collectively on the Monday before the order is placed, with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. and the meeting at 7 p.m.
To browse the catalog, click here. If you're interested in putting in an order, please contact us and we'll send you a password. If you're already a recycling & trash customer, you can have a password mailed to you on the Forgot your password page.
PO Box 415 | Northampton, MA 01061 | (413) 586-8591 | E-mail us