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It’s always nice to hear from your friends and neighbors. Learn more about why The Androscoggin Food Co-op’s member-owners and Board of Directors are so passionate about opening a community-owned food co-op grocery store in the Berlin / Gorham area.

Androscoggin Food Co-op Membership

"We Own it!"

The people of the Androscoggin Valley have had a long and storied history of pulling together toward a common goal when asked. This spirit of cooperation and community is being called on once again. 

The Androscoggin Food Co-op is looking to harness that spirit and build a full service, cooperative grocery store in the valley that will be fully-owned by members of the community. Already over 300 households have become member-owners of the co-op, working toward the day we can all say, “We own it!”

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Member Testimonials

Much of the timeline leading up to site selection and store buildout depends on people in the community first joining the co-op. So we always ask our new members, 

Why did YOU choose to join?”

Board of Directors

Each year, prior to the Androscoggin Food Co-op Annual Meeting, all fully-paid Member-owners of the Co-op are invited to vote online for the AFC Board of Directors. 

Our Directors are active co-op members, volunteering their time to grow the Androscoggin Food Co-op community.

Androscoggin Food Co-op Sarah Clemmitt

Sarah Clemmitt

Randolph, High School Science Teacher

Why a Co-op? Our co-op is important to me because, like many people, I am interested in bringing a strong, healthy food market to the Berlin-Gorham area. So many people I know, myself included, keep a cooler in the back of the car so they can shop at Co-ops and quality grocery stores as they head home from places other than here. This is so sad. There is no doubt that our residents and our guests would prefer to shop nearer to home.

Androscoggin Food Co-op Peter Higbee

Peter Higbee

Berlin, Retired Non-Profit Administrator

Why a Co-op? I joined the co-op because I see the direct relationship between food and health. I am excited to be part of a group committed to ensuring access for all to high quality, fresh food, locally and regionally sourced. I’m also delighted that our co-op’s vision is to work closely with farmers and producers, while offering fair wages and excellent working conditions to employees. Great basis for a business!

Mike Holt

Berlin, Environmental Services Manager, Coos County Nursing Home for 30+ years

Why a co-op? It was important for me to join our co-op because I feel that there is a tremendous need for more access in our area to not only healthy food but other essential grocery items as well and the idea of building our own community owned and operated store seems to be the perfect way to fill that need.

pam laflamme afc board member headshot

Pam Laflamme

Milan, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the City of Berlin

Why a co-op? The idea of a coop came to me while with a friend talking about the lack of options for groceries in our area and we had a lightbulb kind of moment where we each came to the same conclusion; in order to have a say in our options we needed a member owned food coop!  We are lucky to have a lot of people who feel similarly and we are all working hard to bring this idea to reality.  Local ownership and control over a store that will bring fresh and affordable food options is important in an area that does not have a lot of options – this is a project worth working hard to make happen.  Strengthening our local supply chain by relying on local farmers and producers will help our local economy as well.  There are so many reasons to invest in our region and ourselves, join us!

Androscoggin Food Co-op Tom McCue

Tom McCue

Why a co-op? During our lives, we realize the importance of a healthy diet. Here in the Androscoggin Valley, we find ourselves with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. We live in a “food desert.” The coronavirus pandemic made all of us aware of the fragility of our food supply system. The Androscoggin Food Co-op will provide quality, locally-sourced food for sale at a local business run by its member-owners.

meag poirier headshot photo

Meag Poirier

Gorham, Web Designer & Photographer, Owner of Wild Roots

Why a co-op?! Access to local, healthy food options (produce, especially!) is a local issue worthy of our effort and attention. A co-op that provides affordable and nutritious food options year-round for our community would be an incredible step forward. I also believe it would serve to strengthen our sense of community overall in the Androscoggin Valley — our residents matter and we deserve better. Supporting local farmers is a real bonus too! I love this area and want to see it thrive and continue to attract people to live/work/play/stay here.

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