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Preferred Shares

Central Co-op has signed a lease in Tacoma and after some renovations to the space we should be open in late spring of 2018. At the same time, we are gearing up to remodel our location at 16th and Madison in Seattle! To help us reach these goals, we are offering preferred shares to existing members. 

Cooperative Principle #3 is Member Economic Participation and one of the unique characteristics of co-ops is the ability to raise capital from within its membership. Just as we like to invest Co-op’s money in the local economy whenever possible and feasible, we have already heard from many owners who appreciate being able to invest in our co-op and support our mission of spreading the cooperative economy, supporting healthy jobs with great benefits and living wages, as well as promote food access and all of the community support that Central Co-op provides.

For more information about the Coop’s history, expansion plans, source and use of funds, and financial information, please contact to request the Confidential Offering Memorandum.



Thank you for your support of Central Co-op! We hope these FAQs will answer some questions you might have about our Preferred Share offering. If you would like to receive the Offering Memorandum so as to determine whether or not you would like to invest, please email Aaron Waldkoetter, Owner Services Manager at:

What is a Preferred Share?

Preferred shares are dividend-bearing investments in the Co-op’s equity. They differ from the $100 Fair Share that every Co-op owner is required to purchase to be an owner in the following ways:

  • Preferred shares a do not have specified repayment terms
  • Preferred shares pay a dividend based on the size of the investment and not on the amount of purchases made at the Co-op
  • Preferred share purchases are optional investments made at each owner’s discretion — no owner is required to purchase preferred shares as a condition of membership in the Co-op
  • Preferred Shares carry no voting rights.

Why is the Co-op offering preferred shares?
This offering provides owners the opportunity to invest funds in our local business while earning a fair return on their investment. They are being offered at this time to help provide part of the financing for the Co-op’s planned new store in Tacoma, improvements to our Seattle location as well as other growth possibilities. The amount raised through the sale of preferred shares will reduce our need to borrow money for expansion from financial institutions.

What are the risks of this investment?
The Preferred shares that the Co-op is offering for sale are not insured and, like nearly all investments, have an element of risk. By purchasing these shares you are making a good faith investment in the Co-op. You should read carefully the entirety of the Offering Memorandum, including the section entitled ‘Risk Factors’ and consult with your own financial or legal counselor, accountant or business advisor prior to making a decision to invest in Shares.

How do I learn about the specific details of the offering?
Prior to purchase you will be given an Offering Memorandum that provides detailed background on the Co-op’s plans, its financial history and its financial projections that will allow you to determine if making an investment in these shares is appropriate for you. To request an Offering Memorandum, please email:

Will I get a larger say in the Co-op’s governance and operations?
No. The Co-op is founded on the principle of one owner, one vote. Preferred shares carry no voting rights; no investor will have any more say than any other owner.

I heard you have a $2.5 million goal, where did that number come from?
We have prepared an expansion plan that includes opening a new store, renovation of the Seattle store and securing funds for future opportunities. The amount we are raising, combined with $1.2 million in bank financing will allow us to move forward with that plan and have sufficient cash reserves and a strong financial position so we can pursue other opportunities for growth.

What happens if we don’t reach the goal? Will we still open the Tacoma store?
If we don’t reach the goal, we may have to modify the plan based on the amount of funds actually received in the preferred share offering.  However, opening the Tacoma store is not dependent on raising the full $2.5 million through preferred shares. We have enough cash on hand and could acquire enough money through traditional loans to ensure that this project continues, however, other components of the plan may have to be deferred depending on how much we actually raise from the offering.

What is the benefit of my investment to the Co-op?
Shareholders will have the opportunity to invest locally, know how their money is being used and earn a better rate than a similar-sized investment is likely to provide. The Co-op will have the benefit of using the additional funds for expansion or other opportunities without having a fixed repayment schedule.  

Is there a minimum or maximum number of shares I can buy?
We are selling 5000 $500 shares. At the opening of this offering an owner could buy as many as 5000 shares or as few as one share; however you can’t purchase partial shares. As we move forward, the maximum amount an owner can purchase will decrease as more shares are purchased.

How do I buy shares?
There are two requirements to purchase preferred shares:

  1. You must be a Co-op owner.
  2. You must be a Washington State resident

If you have met those requirements, please contact to receive an Offering Memorandum for you to determine whether you would like to invest.

Thanks for your support!


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