About Us | Rainbow Co-op

About Rainbow Co-op

Locally Grown, Community Owned

Rainbow Co-op is a consumer cooperative grocery owned and operated by our members, and we have called Jackson home since 1980. Our mission is to provide, at the lowest possible cost, natural, organic and local products that support healthy individuals, a thriving local community and a sustainable planet.

We started with just three families who cared about eating pure food, and we're proud to have grown into a co-op owned and operated by 300 member-owners and 6000 members.

Rainbow also operates:

  • High Noon Cafe, Jackson's gourmet organic vegetarian restaurant.
  • Fair Trade Green, the place to find ethically made and environmentally sustainable gifts, jewelry and home decor.
  • Rainbow Plaza's Computer Co-Op, which has more than 200 individual and business members who receive discounts on computers, parts and services.

Our History

Rooted in Family
The idea for Rainbow Co-Op began in 1976, when three local families were looking for healthy alternatives to fast food. They volunteered their time to cook nutritious meals and show others how to do the same. No health food stores in the area would give them a discount for the products they needed for these meals, so they started the Alexandrian Center Natural Food Buying Club to get better prices on organic foods. The club quickly grew to 150 families.

Committed to Community
The club moved to the basement of the YMCA and changed its name to Under the Rainbow after the overhead pipes that were painted the colors of the rainbow. It became so large that in 1979, it opened a small storefront and contacted other buying clubs in the area to join forces and become a co-op. They organized weekly meetings, defined their goals and vision, drew up bylaws, wrote the charter and registered as the agricultural association Rainbow Whole Foods, Inc.

In May 1980, Rainbow Whole Foods Cooperative Grocery opened its doors and has been growing steadily ever since. In 2010, Rainbow became a consumer cooperative, which is democratically governed and allows any member of the community to buy ownership and hold rights as a shareholder.

Learn more about becoming a member.

Contact Us

Click here to visit our contact directory.

Invested in Health

We strive to provide the best quality food and services at affordable prices to our members and the general public. Shoppers know that they can trust what they buy at Rainbow because every decision we make reaffirms our commitment to the values of our cooperative:

  • Personal health and well-being through natural, unprocessed foods
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Humane and ethical business practices
  • Local community building

Storewide purchasing policy:

  • No high-fructose corn syrup
  • No chemical fertilizers
  • No GMOs
  • No sulfur dioxide
  • No nitrites or nitrates
  • No animal testing
  • No irradiation
  • No animal antibiotics or growth hormones
  • No artificial dyes, flavors or food coloring
  • No insecticide or pesticide residue
  • No refined sugars