A cooperative AKA a co-op or coop, is defined by the International Co-operative Alliance‘s Statement on the Co-operative Identity as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. A cooperative may also be defined as a business owned and controlled equally by the people who use its services or who work at it.


Austin has a huge number of co-ops. When I was in preschool, I went to All Austin Cooperative Nursery School. A board made up of parents, the director, the teachers, and members of the Austin community runs the school. Each family is responsible for a support job; parents take turns helping out in the classroom once a month. It was a good experience, for my mom and I. Today I actually had lunch with my lifelong friend Taryn who I met when I went there in 1987.

There are many different kinds of Co-ops here:

If you aren’t involved or a member or a co-op, I would recommend joining one. They are great places to learn new things, meet new people, and expose you to a variety of perspectives. In co-ops you have a voice in the way that particular organization operates and are able to make changes in areas you wouldn’t be able to in places that provide a similar function that are not co-ops.



3 Responses to “CO-OPS”

  1. 1 Saul November 6, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Also, if there isn’t enough patchouli in your life, co-ops can help with that, too.

  2. 2 Caitlin W November 7, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I LOVE Wheatsville. I’m a vegetarian, and the selection there is really great. Plus, it’s so close to campus. Now that I live in East Austin, I don’t go as often, but when I lived on campus, I would sometimes even just walk there and back to my dorm. Their deli stuff is delicious, and they make the BEST vegan cookies anywhere, I think:)

  1. 1 Keeping it WEIRD. « Love Hate Austin Trackback on November 7, 2008 at 1:56 pm

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