Our Impact on the Community


In 2017, Central Co-op hired Civic Economics to conduct a Local Impact Study to help us quantify exactly how our activities make a difference in our neighborhoods and state. Their study revealed:

  • 52 cents of every dollar that is spent at Central Co-op stay within the State of Washington, compared to 23 cents at conventional grocery chains and 36 cents at standard co-ops (2012 national averages)
  • 20% of the money you and your neighbors spend at Central Co-op is on products made in Washington– compared to only 4% at most grocery chains
  • Our Co-op pays double the percentage of revenue on wages and benefits compared to average U.S. grocery chains
  • In 2016, 87% of Central Co-op employees were eligible for benefits, compared to 56% at an average conventional chain

The two major ways that the Co-op achieves this is by hiring full time employees on living wage principles and by going out of its way to ensure Washington producers and suppliers are used whenever possible. This recirculation allows money to churn through the region, creating revenues used to build and support the roads, schools, bridges, and libraries that make this the vibrant community that it is today.

Read the complete study


Here's a summary of our impact in 2017: