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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Find answers below or email: eastbiloxifoodmarket@gmail.com.

If you’ve just joined or are thinking about becoming a member-owner, you may have some questions!

What are the benefits of membership?

By becoming a member-owner, you are investing in the health and wealth of your community. With the purchase of a one-time equity share, you become an equal owner of East Biloxi Food Market, LLC and share in the profits and get a say in the operations.

Other benefits include:

  • Member-only discounts

  • Discounts for special events and classes​

  • Your voice matters! We stock the products you want to see on our shelves

  • Opportunity to vote for and serve on our board of directors

  • Request donations for non-profits and causes you care about

  • Patronage refunds when we make a profit

  • Support locally owned businesses and local farmers 

What is an equity share?

An equity share is a form of investment in our co-op’s future. Anyone can purchase only one equity share, giving every member-owner equal ownership in the co-op. Equity shares entitle member-owners to a share of all profits in the form of yearly patronage refunds.  

What is a patronage refund?

Patronage refunds are allocated to the owners of East Biloxi Food Market when the co-op has a surplus (profit after paying operating expenses). As a member-owner, you receive a patronage refund based on how much you shopped in the last fiscal year. Don't worry. We will keep track of the sales total for each member-owner transaction.

Do other members of my household need to become members too?

Co-op owners can share member-owner discounts with their entire household. However, ownership is limited to one person. This is especially important because only member-owners can vote or run for the board of directors position and receive patronage refunds.

Do I have to be a member-owner to shop at the store?

At East Biloxi Food Market everyone is welcome! Anyone can shop, and everyone is invited to become a member-owner. 

What if I terminate my ownership?

You may choose to resign from the co-op at any time and the full amount of your paid equity will be returned to you. Refund requests are typically processed in 90 days. The co-op’s board of directors may choose to delay payment if equity refunds would put the co-op in financial danger. Additionally, if you resign in a year when we are able to issue patronage refunds, your refund will reflect the purchases you made until your termination date. Retains will continue to be paid for previous years as they are allocated. Just make sure we have your updated mailing address!

When will the store open?

The timeline depends how quickly we are able to grow our membership. This means we need our friends and neighbors to become member-owners. Our first goal is to reach 300 member-owners. We are currently have over 100 member-owners. With your support, we can pull together all the resources we need to open our store. If for any reason, the project does not move forward, all member-owners will receive a full refund. 

How do I join?

Joining is easy!  All you need to do is complete a form - your name, address, contact information, etc and submit payment for your one-time equity purchase in the amount of $100. You can complete the form and submit payment online or make arrangements to pay via check by emailing us at eastfoodbiloximarket@gmail.com.

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