National Cooperative Bank talks food co-ops

"Some of the notable food co-ops we’ve provided banking services to since 1980 include Wheatsville Food Co-op in Austin, TX, which is still a current customer, and we’ve provided financing to Greenbelt Co-op in Maryland. And not related to food co-ops, but REI, the largest consumer co-op in the U.S., was one of our first customers. So we’ve always had a mission to serve consumer co-ops and it’s been critical to NCB’s mission to continue working in this segment and however we can help new food co-ops get started, expand and compete with other grocery stores that come into their market, we’re here to provide those services.

"Over the years we’ve provided over $78 million in financing to food co-ops across the U.S. Most people know we’re a mission-driven financial institution, but we are a co-op ourselves owned by 3,000 of our customers, and they guide the bank at the board level, so we’re here to serve them. One example of our commitment to the food sector is our five-year, $250,000 grant to the Food Co-op Initiative that helps them provide technical assistant and grant funds to new food co-ops."

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