As a co-op, our business is controlled by our owners, making us independent, autonomous and democratic. Each owner gets to vote for our board of directors, who in turn hire and oversee a general manager. From this standpoint, the co-op is run like a normal business, as it’s very difficult to operate a successful retail operation as a “collective”, with all “owners” being the boss. But owners vote for the board members who best reflect their values and vision for the store, and who then represent the members in the overall governance.