Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Avocado Co-op?
A retail co-op that makes living more sustainably easier by offering the best, user-friendly and sustainable household products.
What kind of store will it be?
We are starting with an online store, which will play an important role in connecting and engaging the community. We see the co-op eventually growing into physical stores so that you can experience products firsthand.
What kind of products do you sell?
We sell household products which make it easier to live more sustainably.
Currently we sell LED light bulbs, dryer balls, 100% post consumer personal paper products, cleaning supplies, and composting supplies through our Care Package program. Visit our store for details on the products and prices.
Beyond that, we need your help: our product selection process will be owner-driven and open-ended.
How does the Co-op make it easier to live more sustainably?
We research, source and sell the most usable and sustainable products available which reduce the amount of energy and water you use, are made from recycled materials, and are biodegradable. We find companies that share our values and see sustainability as a journey. How the products are produced and packaged is factored in to help divert waste. Finally, we do usability testing with our members to select the brands which perform the best per product category.
What is the difference between membership types?
As a retail co-op, we sell only to our members.
A Membership + Care Package costs $48 per year–or $4 a month. The first year includes your $10 lifetime membership with all benefits. The Care Package service gives you access to more products, better Care Package prices, and in some locations the Care Package distribution network including $5 hand delivery and pickup locations. If you live outside our distribution network you can get your Care Packages shipped to you for $10 per package.
The Membership without the Care Package is $10 for a lifetime membership. It gives you access to most products at regular prices and $15 shipping anywhere in Canada. Regular members can vote at the AGM, run for the board and invest in the co-op.
Please note, some bulkier products are only available through the Care Package distribution network.
Why do we charge $48 per year?
The Care Package service fee is $48 per year–or $4 per month. The Care Package service gives you access to more products, better Care Package prices, and in some locations the Care Package distribution network including $5 hand delivery and pickup locations.
For the co-op, it helps to cover fixed costs, including staff, product research, and buying stock.
Instead of charging a yearly service fee, we could increase our prices and hope that we sell enough products to cover our costs. That change would give us an incentive to focus on the number of products we sell instead of focusing on providing the best service to you. We believe that the yearly fee model enables the co-op to be a more sustainable organization, putting our focus on our members instead of consumerism.
Which area does the co-op serve?
Regularly priced products can be shipped anywhere in Canada. The Care Package Service's $5 hand delivery and pickup locations are currently only available in Kitchener and Waterloo in Ontario. The Care Package is also available by Canada Post with a flat shipping charge of $10 per package.
Please note some bulkier products are only available through the $5 hand delivery or pickup locations.
As we grow the Care Package's distribution network, including the $5 hand delivery and pickup locations, will be expanded to Guelph and other communities. Sign up to our mailing list to be among the first to hear when we launch in new communities.
What is the Care Package exactly?
The Care Package is a subscription service available for $48 per year.
You choose exactly the products you want to subscribe to. We email you once a month so you can change, skip or pay for your current package. You can add regularly priced products to your package as well.
Our Care Package prices are consistent, fair, and usually lower than what you would find in a supermarket. Visit our store for details on the products and prices.
If you live in our distribution network, you can choose to have your Care Package hand delivered for $5 or pick up it up at one of our pickup locations. If you live outside our distribution network you can get your Care Packages shipped to you for $10 per package.
What does "more sustainably" mean for the co-op?
Our focus is on environmental sustainability, helping everyone reduce their impact on the environment while living better. Whether small or big changes, we will be there to support everyone on their own journey to create a cleaner and more efficient world.
We also believe it is a journey of continual improvement, and that the journey is more important than the destination. As things change, new ways to live more sustainably will become possible.
What if I don't need one of the Care Package products?
With the Care Package service, you choose the products that you subscribe to and you can remove or unsubscribe from any products you don't need each month.
What is a retail co-op and why choose it?
A retail co-op is in many ways similar to any incorporated business; one exception is ownership. In most corporations the ownership and voting power is divided among the shareholders based on how many shares they own. However, in a retail co-op, each customer's ownership share gives them a single vote.
The Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is one of the largest retail co-ops in Canada.
Like any business, the co-op needs to be financially healthy, but by being a co-op we can put the goal of helping you live more sustainably ahead of short-term growth or sales. This flexibility will enable us to evolve the types of products we sell, and provide services which help people live more sustainably even if those services are revenue neutral.