About ELFCO

East Lansing Food Co-op started in 1976 as a buying club for local people who wanted healthy and organic food. Soon after, it opened a cooperatively owned grocery storefront in East Lansing. Over the years, it has expanded into a store that is owned by over 3,500 people in our community.

ELFCO exists so that our community is healthy, diverse, and thriving. Our mission is to help maintain the area's economy by buying local produce and other products, supporting environmental sustainability and social justice. Your shopping dollars directly support a local, community-owned venture and, in turn, numerous other local businesses whose products we offer.

ELFCO is a natural food grocer offering organic produce, milk and meats. We have a wide selection of frozen food, bulk items, coffees and teas, spices, and wholesome packaged and convenience foods from our deli, and more. Our health and body care department offers vitamins, herbs and other supplements. We also carry many hard-to-find items for special dietary needs.

Everyone is welcome to shop at the co-op! Those who choose to become owners enjoy numerous options for involvement and saving money - more information here.

ELFCO emphasizes the importance of a quadruple bottom line - people, planet, purpose and profit. It seeks to support and benefit local producers, local institutions and the local economy. ELFCO appeals to students and offers them a 10 percent discount on Sundays. Food co-ops throughout history have stood for social justice and local and organic food security.

ELFCO has the following character traits:  

  1. Hyper-Local: ELFCO prioritizes local products and services. By having our local farmers and artisans ship direct to our store, instead of a distribution center, ELFCO is hyper-local.  ELFCO’s Board of Directors, management team and staff are your next door neighbors.  We stock local products that fit our members’  vision and values.
  2. Environmentally Responsible: ELFCO supports sustainably produced goods that are healthier for you, our community and the environment. The co-op also has a recycling and composting program (for all of our food waste), solar panels (see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOTy_eoEk2A), energy-saving coolers, re-usable bulk container shopping, and more.
  3. Fair Trade Partners: ELFCO aims to pay its farmers and other vendors fairly. The co-op believes in fair trade goods and supports community issues that promote fairness and peace to all.
  4. Community Engagement: The co-op builds healthy relationships in the community, promotes nutrition through education, and contributes to a vibrant economy through support of local businesses, charities, and organizations.
  5. Affordability:  Co-op deals, buying via the bulk department or special ordering helps defray cost.  The store works towards having its owner equity and costs at a reasonable price.  There are many ways to reduce the costs you pay for our high-quality products.
  6. Alternative to Corporate Chains: ELFCO is an alternative to big box corporations.
  1. Honest: ELFCO works to be transparent about business practices, growing practices, organic and non-GMO certification and business decisions affecting their owners and customers.
  2. Democratic: The co-op tries its best to foster participation and empower individual owners to participate in the greater co-op movement and the direction of the store.
  3. Authentic: ELFCO offers participation, healthy goods and customer service. Other companies have jumped on the healthy/sustainable/customer-oriented bandwagon just because it’s trendy, where ELFCO has offered these practices for decades.
  4. Accessible: Everyone is welcome at ELFCO. The store works to keep owner share prices and product prices accessible to everyone. The sales in the store are a big draw.

Slogans:

-Real food. Real connections.
-Stands for community
-As local as local can be
-Know your food
-Food. People. Power!

-Where local means local

-Locally grown. Community owned.
-Food for People, not for Profit
-In Cooperation for 517 Living

-I own a grocery store with my friends!

-Your neighbors for over 40 years

We look forward to your visit!