Collective Staff


garden center staff. 2017

Co-op staff members operate as a collective and are responsible for coordinating the stores’ operations. Additionally, all staff participate in collective governance and decision making and anti-oppression work.

Staff responsibilities are outlined in the Co-op’s bylaws and include a wide variety of tasks related to store operations and governance. These include product department management, merchandise buying, retail floor coordination/customer service, supervision of volunteers, store supervision, cashiering, stocking, food preparation, accounting, quarterly inventory, etc.


Applicants must:

  • work at least 30 hours per week
  • have physical abilities to lift and carry 10-50 lbs repeatedly over the course of one day
  • have physical abilities to perform general grocery tasks, stocking, cashiering, delivery receiving, etc.
  • speak, read, and write English
  • have basic math and money-handling skills
  • be able to make a one-year commitment if hired
  • have flexibility in scheduling, and be available for on-call work
  • be able to work morning, evening, and weekend hours
  • have willingness to learn and participate in a cooperative workplace
  • be able to give helpful, considerate, thorough customer service


  • Retail or food service work experience
  • Customer service work experience
  • Group/collaborative decision making experience
  • Demonstrated communication skills – verbal and written
  • Project, organization or business management experience
  • Fluency in a language other than English
  • Basic computer literacy skills
  • Advanced math and money handling skills
  • Multi-tasking and problem-solving skills


As of January 2024, pay starts at $20.50 per hour. Wage increases occur yearly, and the wage scale is the same for all staff regardless of job duties.


During the trial period, the weekly hourly commitment will be a minimum of 30 hours per week, with the possibility of up to 40 hours per week. Hours will be a combination of permanent, as needed, and on-call shifts. The first 1500 hours of employment are a trial period.  New Staff receive thorough training and gradually assume increased hours and responsibility in their job description duties. Overtime is allowed (voluntary) and is paid at time and a half.


Our benefits include excellent medical, dental, and vision, and collective staff pay only $20 per paycheck for our healthcare. Full time is considered 30 hours per week. Our insurance also covers some types of alternative care including massage, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, and supplements.

We offer a 20% discount on purchases made in the store, generous sick leave, generous vacation, flexible scheduling, retirement, employee assistance, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, childcare benefits, a flexible spending account, bonuses based on sales, education and workshop opportunities, and sabbatical and leave opportunities.

Staff Application

In order to assure the broadest possible access to applications, and to give our hiring team adequate time to get to know candidates, the Olympia Food Co-op is always accepting applications. You can apply online or print  this PDF, or visit either store pick to pick up a copy. Paper applications can be returned to customer service at either store. Applicants can expect to be contacted by the hiring team regarding their hiring status by the end of the calendar month that follows the month in which they submitted their application. For example, for applications received anytime in May applicants will hear back from us by the end of June.

Applicants who receive first interviews are then notified whether or not they have been named as finalists. Finalists remain “active” for twelve months from the date of their first interview and will be considered for second interviews when openings occur.

The collective makes decisions by all collective staff making decisions together through consensus. Check out our primer on consensus here.