The Utah Co-op, located in a Murray warehouse, employs a minimalist approach to signage and promoting its hours—you have to be “in the know.” But in reality, with nearly 5,000 grocery-buying friends on its Facebook page, it’s far from a speakeasy.
“At least 80 percent of our items were requested by customers, mostly on Facebook, or we interact with them [on Facebook] and ask questions,” says volunteer director Mercedes Zel-Pappas. The co-op offers more than 5,000 items—produce, cheese, dry goods and household items—which are constantly rotating. The selection is impressive.
The process is simple. If a customer wants, say, coconut milk, Zel-Pappas researches if it’s feasible to procure; if so, she informs the customer of the wholesale price. The co-op price is only a nickel or a quarter more—just enough to cover store overhead, she says.