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:
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.
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