First Alternative is controlled by its owners – consumers who give input and make decisions about the store, its philosophy, products, and services.

As an owner, you can contribute to the open, friendly Co-op community by becoming an owner-worker. You will work with some great people, learn new skills, and participate in the daily operations of our store. For most positions, all it takes is a two-hour per week commitment.

Operational Owner-Workers

As an operational owner-worker, you will be part of the store’s floor staff and will earn minimum wage for the time you work each week. Two-hour shifts are scheduled on a regular weekly basis. Extensive training is provided for all operations positions.

Owners interested in the Co-op’s Operational Owner-Worker program:

Due to a high volume of operational owner-worker applications currently on file and a corresponding limited number of open shifts, we are not accepting new owner-worker applications at this time.  When we are accepting new applications, we will post a notice.

Deli Workers

Cut cheese to order for shoppers, and cut and wrap cheeses for back stock and the deli cases. Excellent customer service skills and attention to detail are necessary if you are considering working in this department as you will have much interaction with our shoppers. Training: one 2-hour orientation and continued on-the-job training.

Produce Stockers

Sort, trim, clean and display fresh fruits and vegetables in the produce department. You will learn unique display techniques and how to recognize produce quality and freshness. These positions require the ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds. Training: one 2-hour orientation and continued on-the-job training.


Keep products well stocked on the retail shelves in the store’s bulk, grocery, and health & household areas. These positions require the ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds. Training: one 2-hour orientation and continued on-the-job training.

Support Owner-Workers

Support positions are also essential to the Co-op, but are separate from the daily store operations. Working in a support position, you will earn a 15% discount on items you purchase at the store, in place of minimum wage. One week’s discount is earned for every two hours worked, and hours are cumulative.


Sort, clean, and straighten the in-store bottle return area, recycle other materials such as cardboard, Styrofoam, and aseptics at the recycling area and help keep our recycling center organized and clean. Training: one 1/2-hour session and continued on-the-job training.

Board of Directors

The Co-op’s owners elect our ten-member board annually. The Board Development Committee recommends, as nominees, interested owners who have the experience and skills needed to guide our $14 million enterprise. This position requires a minimum of eight to ten hours per month, and directors serve 3-year terms. In addition, each board member is assigned to chair or serve on one of the board’s committees. Extensive training in board process is provided.

Committee Members

Meet on varying schedules throughout the month. The committees are: Finance, Owner Relations, and Board Development. For more information, contact the Marketing Manager at the South Store at 541-753-3115 Ext. 328.

The Co-op Thymes

Produced with some assistance from Support Owner-Workers who on occasion provide photography, do data entry, or write articles as assigned by the editor.

Special Projects

Include such tasks as coordinating or participating in special events like workshops, parties and functions for owners, Board events, making phone calls to blood donors, maintaining the Co-op bulletin boards, doing computer work or making phone calls to answer product requests from shoppers. The work schedule is on a flexible, as-needed basis.


Includes projects such as watering plants and gardening. Special skills in plumbing, carpentry, and painting are also useful.