Welcome to The Gathering Place Co-op
The Gathering Place is nourishing the co-operative spirit of Albertans. We realized that farmers in northeastern Alberta needed a better and more sustainable way to sell their products and bring local food directly to customers. The Gathering Place Co-op is where we come together as a community–connected by farm-fresh food. We’re a part of this community, just like you, so we know what it’s like to drive a long way to get groceries. We’ve developed programs with you and your health and safety in mind, especially during these challenging times.
Our storefront/event venue/bistro/market is currently under construction, but stay tuned to our social media pages and join our newsletter to stay up-to-date with everything we have growing. One day, we will be located on Highway 831 between secondary Highway 656 and Township Road 602 – just a little bit North of Waskatenau on the way to Long Lake.
Homemade with heart and hope.
We are building a dynamic grassroots (bottom-up, not top-down) food and marketing hub by connecting consumers with farmers, producers and artisans. We aim to work together to sell locally grown and made products. Our Producer-Members are passionate about creating their products with intention and care. Together, we can be part of the solution to help our local economy and our community.
Consider joining us as either a Producer- or Supporter-Member. You might not have thought that you could become a part of a food hub as a small-time producer, but you can! If you don’t have a product to sell, you can still own a share as a Supporter-Member.
Membership Information Meetings take place every two weeks please look at the calendar for next meeting.
According to the International Co-operative Alliance, a co-operative can be defined as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.” Most simply, co-ops are businesses or organizations founded and owned by the people who directly benefit from their products or services. In other words, co-ops are created to meet member and community needs.
The 7 Co-op Principles
Regardless of where they are or what they exist to do, co-operatives operate under the same seven core principles and values. These seven co-op principles are the foundation of The Gathering Place:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organizations, open to anyone able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
2. Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and marketing decisions.
3. Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equally to the co-op by purchasing a share and then democratically have a say in the direction of the co-op. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the co-operative rather than on the capital invested.
4. Autonomy & Independence
Co-ops are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.
5. Education, Training, & Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-op. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of co-operatives.
6. Co-operation Among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.
7. Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, co-operatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs mandated and accepted by their local members.