Isla Vista Food Co-op
What began in 1972 as a community-based experiment in radical collaboration through grassroots food sourcing, distribution and sharing, the Isla Vista Food Cooperative has grown into a legitimate force in the local foods movement in Santa Barbara County and beyond. With almost $3,000,000 in annual sales and an active member-owner base of over 3,000, the Co-op has proven that there’s a whole lot that can happen when a thoughtful group of committed isla vistan’s decide that they can, in fact, change the world.
Statement of Purpose: Our purpose as a consumer co-op is to be a trusted source of natural & organic products and a reliable source for consumer information-driven not by profit, but by motivation for community autonomy, mutual aid, & environmental justice.
Mission Statement: Our mission, as a natural and organic foods consumer cooperative, is to provide the residents of Isla Vista and neighboring communities of Santa Barbara County with reasonably priced foods, products and services that promote a healthier lifestyle and environment. The Isla Vista Food Cooperative is an economic alternative founded on cooperative business principles and values that are practiced in our operating as well as through our governance policies. Our produce department exists to provide our community with locally grown and organic food options as a means of promoting physical health, environmental sustainability, community prosperity, and local autonomy. Our predominately local and in-season produce department provides critical financial support to farmers who are members of the Santa Barbara community. The result is that we get the freshest and most delicious produce available, and we help break a link in the corporate food chain.
Vision Statement: Our vision is a community engaged in the cooperative principles and values of social, economic, and environmental responsibility. The Isla Vista Food Cooperative will be the hub of this cooperative community, empowering its members by providing them with products, services, and information to sustain it. Our Co-op will network with organizations that are in alignment with our goals and ethics. It will succeed financially allowing is to provide our employees with a fair wage and benefits, as well as providing the means for outreach projects to the community defining our social and economic ideals. We envision a thriving cooperative community that by practicing the values of honesty, openness, and caring for others, will assist other communities in establishing their cooperative identity.