Mandela Foods Cooperative, opened June 6, West Oakland

West Oakland welcomes co-op's healthy foods
from Carolyn Said of the San Francisco Chronicle

Eight local residents are worker-owners who make all the store's business decisions and perform all its functions - including cashiering, stocking shelves, cleaning, taking inventory and ordering.

The owners earn a living wage and eventually will share in two-thirds of the store's profits. One-third of the profits will be returned to the community as matching funds to people who open accounts at the credit union next door. "The more profitable the store is, the more money goes into the community," said Dana Harvey, executive director of Mandela Marketplace, a nonprofit that acted as an incubator to get the store launched by providing technical assistance and seed funding.

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