A History of Disputes At The Park Slope Food Co-Op


  • Paul Lowry/Flickr

This week, Park Slope Food Co-Op members who missed shifts on October 29th and October 30th because of that Hurricane you may have heard about (and because the Co-op was, necessarily, closed during Sandy) found out that they’ve been put on “alert,” meaning they face suspension if they don’t make up the shift within 10 days.

Technically, they can contact the office to seek “clemency” if this isn’t possible, but still, this feels a little…harsh? Ill-timed and in poor taste? Or if you’re a Co-op lifer, just “totally appropriate,” because aside from, you know, keeping their store stocked with delicious ethical food, there’s nothing Co-opers are better at than going to belligerent pains to prove a point. A look back at some of their more notable dust-ups, because they’re as easy to (gently) mock as they are to get riled up over nothing.


  1. This article is written tongue in cheek, and as a member of over twenty years, I can say that there are times when I have rolled my eyes and wished we could all “just get along”. But, its too easy to take potshots at a grassroots neighborhood institution in a media outlet that doesn’t really try to understand the context of the events described. That’s kind of shitty, actually. The PSFC is a community of sorts and deserves a full investigation if you are going to critique it. Become a member for 6 months or interview 20 members who have been involved over the last twenty or thirty years- you’ll have a fuller appreciation of its history and the dynamics that unfold here. It has a long record of doing right by people. Yes, the political correctness is sometimes masking unaware privilege, but there are also many, many hardworking members and staff members who try and make a difference in a society that rewards profit-making over human beings. If you took the time to work on a committee or do a shift here, you would find that the PSFC is a great equalizer. Every creed, ethnicity, religious orientation, etc work together here and we’re all sorting it out. I applaud the effort. There’s room to figure out more, but you know what? At least these folks are trying. I like that and think it deserves some appreciation rather than being exploited for media intrigue and ratings.

  2. There is no trope more lame than let’s-make-fun-of-the-Park-Slope-Food-Coop. At least you eschewed arugula and birkenstocks. People who don’t like the Coop’s rules can shop elsewhere or try to change them.

  3. This article is hilarious. I love it Ive been a Co-OP member reluctantly for 2 years now and their politcial actions are absolutely the most ridiculous thing it is. The issue is that people forget thats its just a cheap place to get groceries, its not a commune that is out for social change. The majority of the members just want cheaper artichokes and coconut oil…I just can’t force myself to pay whole foods prices not to deal with all the BS that the CO-OP shoves down our throats. Its really the most unorganized and chaotic atmosphere anyone can shop in, its not pleasant. …( If i get told/scolded on how to properly stack the bananas one more time, I think i will likely flip out. ) This place makes communism look efficient.


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