The mission of the Cooperative is to serve Los Alamos County and surrounding communities by providing fairly priced, wholesome foods and other goods in an ecologically sustainable, socially responsible, and economically appropriate manner. The Co+op further strives to:
- Emphasize food for people, not just for profit;
- Maintain a high standard of quality for the products it sells;
- Foster the development of northern New Mexican growers and producers through its purchasing policies;
- Employ a democratic and cooperative governance structure and ethical business practices;
- Promote fairness, participation, and empowerment in the workplace and the community;
- Work to encourage and implement appropriate environmental practices;
- Promote awareness about food, nutrition, health, and cooperative values
- Be responsive and accountable to the community it serves.
On March 2nd of 2011 the Los Alamos Cooperative Market (LACM) opened in a brand new 7,000 square-foot store.
In 2006, Nancy Savoia contacted La Montanita Co-op about opening a store in Los Alamos. After La Montanita declined but offered to help open a new co-op, Nancy recruited volunteers. The volunteers conducted a market survey that generated over 600 responses in support of the project. They first membership drive enlisted the support of over 100 member-owners by the end of 2006.
LACM was incorporated as a cooperative association in February 2007 with a mission that included promoting awareness about food, nutrition, health, and cooperative values like fair trade and sustainability.
One of the biggest challenges was finding a location. After searching for nearly two years, in April of 2009 the developers of the Entrada Business Park proposed their site, at the east end of the Los Alamos airport and the site was accepted.
The next challenge was to raise enough money for construction. In January of 2010 a Member Loan Campaign was launched to raise the $1.1 million needed to open the store and acquire the initial capital for tenant improvements, equipment, start-up staffing, initial inventory and working capital. Member response was overwhelmingly positive and over $1 million was raised.
“There were so many others who joined us along the way,” says Savoia. “We did not imagine that we would have five long years ahead of us. But, each and every board member has played a part, no matter how small, in moving us toward our store opening.”