Lakewinds’ roots run deep in our community. We started out as the “Minnetonka Buying Club” in 1972 (officially becoming a co-op in 1975). Today, we are a thriving natural foods co-op with over 16,500 members and two stores located in the southwest suburbs of the Twin Cities. We specialize in natural and organic foods. Nearly one-third of our products come from local sources. We also offer a wide variety of special diet foods including over 1,500 gluten-free items. Stop by and see us. Everyone is welcome to shop at the co-op!
We are a member-owned cooperative that provides the highest quality natural and organic products at a good value. We are committed to outstanding service, and leading the way in education and community participation.
What’s a Co-op?
The overall goal of the cooperative movement is to create organizations that serve the needs of the people who use them. Cooperative businesses provide goods and services in a way that keeps community resources in the community. All co-ops contain the following elements:
- Co-ops are owned and governed by their primary users (the member-owners).
- Co-ops are democratically governed (one-member, one-vote).
- Co-ops are businesses, not clubs or associations.
- Co-ops adhere to internationally recognized principles.
The specific goals of a cooperative are determined by its members, but all cooperatives adhere to the principles of cooperation that are based on practices of the first successful consumer cooperative in Rochdale, England (founded in 1844). There are consumer, producer co-ops (usually agricultural) and worker-owned cooperatives. There are also housing co-ops, health care co-ops (the original HMOs were co-ops) and financial co-ops (credit unions).
Seven Cooperative Principles
A cooperative is 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.
Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.
The cooperative principles are guidelines by which cooperatives put their values into practice:
First Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
Second Principle: Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
Third Principle: Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any of all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Fourth Principle: Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
Fifth Principle: Education, Training and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public -- particularly young people and opinion leaders -- about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Sixth Principle: Cooperation among Co-operatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.
7th Principle: Concern for Community
While focusing on members needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.
*Adopted in Manchester (UK) by the General Assembly of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). 23 September 1995, on the occasion of the Alliance's Centenary.