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What is a co-operative?

How does it work? What are the benefits?

A co-operative is a collective enterprise based on co-operation principles. It is owned and managed by its members. Its objective is to answer the needs of a group of people. In a co-operative, all members are equal. Therefore one member = one vote, no matter what the amount invested by a member. When a co-operative generates sufficient profits, those are distributed amongst the members in two ways:


  • By dividends paid according to the amount invested;

  • By patronage returns according to the amount spent.


A co-operative is managed by a board of directors elected between the members at the Annual General Meeting. 


The co-operative model allows ordinary people to start a business without having to invest a big capital and maintaining a customer base (owners-members). In the case of the Coopérative régionale de Moonbeam Ltée, the cooperative model was chosen because nobody was willing to take over the grocery store which is an essential service for the community.

Worldwide co-operatives must follow the seven co-operative principles:

1st principle :

Voluntary and Open Membership 

2nd principle :

Democratic Member Control

3rd principle :

Member Economic Participation

4th principle :

Autonomy and Independance

5th principle :

Education, Training and Information

6th principle :

Co-operation among Co-operatives

7th principle :

Concern for Community

15 reasons to shop at your Co-op

1. Our employees are friendly and we offer a great atmosphere.

2. Our meat is known for its best quality.

3. We offer a variety of local products.

4. We have doubled the fruit and vegetables stock available in our store.

5. The Co-op helps to keep competitive in the region’s food market.

6. Our prices are competitive.

7. The Co-op has contributed greatly to the development of community spirit.

8. We contribute to maintain an essential service for people who have few means of getting around.

9. It is convenient to have a grocery store in a community.

10. The Co-op helps to maintain the value of homes in Moonbeam.

11. The Co-op helps to maintain and create jobs in the community.

12. More people buy from us, the better our chances of success.

13. The Co-op benefits many people and profits remain in the store for the development of future projects.

14. You contribute to the success of a small local business.

15. We are an example for other small communities.

Anchor 9

Business Awards Gala 2015

The Coopérative régionale de Moonbeam Ltée o/a Épicerie Coop Grocery was the recipient of the award “Success Story of the Year” at the Business Awards Gala 2015 held by the Kapuskasing & District Chamber of Commerce.

Collective Excellence Winners

Ottawa - On September 24, 2014, Mrs. Francine Ste-Croix and Mr. Pierre Dorval, on behalf of La Coopérative régionale de Moonbeam Ltée, were presented with a prize for institutional collective excellence by Mr. Gilles Levasseur, then President of Conseil de la cooperation de l’Ontario (CCO), at the annual meeting of the CCO which was held in Ottawa.


The CCO is the ultimate agency for education, promotion, consultation and for providing advisory services to ensure sustainable development of francophone co-operatives and social enterprises in Ontario. Its mission is to contribute to the development of the social economy in the Francophone community through co-operation.


In 2014, prizes were also awarded to:

- La Fédération des caisses populaires de l’Ontario - institutional collective excellence;

- Ms. Caroline Arcand, Executive Director of the Convex Group - individual collective excellence.

- Mr. Denis Bourdeau, director of the Cooperative Embrun, Growmark and Co-operators - individual collective excellence.


Congratulations to all the winners and especially to your Co-op!

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