Full-Time Worker Owner

  • Full Time
  • San Francisco
  • Applications have closed

Website Other Avenues

*healthy business * healthy people * healthy planet

Thank you for your interest in applying for the co-owner position at Other Avenues. We opened in 1974 as a small neighborhood store, run and supported by community members dedicated to providing an alternative to corporate grocery stores. We are now a collectively run, worker-owned and managed natural foods cooperative. Throughout our forty-seven-year history, we have remained committed to organics, healthy food, environmental sustainability, worker-ownership, and true community involvement.

We are looking for someone interested in organic foods, consensus-based decision-making, egalitarian workplaces, and the chance to be involved in a thriving, socially responsible neighborhood business.

This is an ownership position, not just a job. Although most people’s work experience is as an employee, the co-owner position takes on the weight and responsibility of managing a thriving business. This requires more responsibility, but offers more opportunity too.

A minimum of 12 hours* of shift work throughout the week. These shifts involve a lot of multitasking, but generally include:  Cashiering
Being on your feet for long hours
Working in cold environments
Repetitive lifting of 25-50 lbs
Providing excellent customer service
Restocking, cleaning, and other common retail activities
Department work that is scheduled as needed by delivery days and department buyers. Can include restocking, receiving deliveries, and ordering.
Two weekly maintenance tasks (mopping, cleaning the bathroom, etc)
Attending a bi-monthly board meeting
*All worker-owners are required to work at least 12 hours of shift work per week. However, as an applicants, you are generally scheduled for 20+ shift hours per week to compensate for naturally having less department and admin work to start. As you grow into the ownership role, most co-owners work with Personnel to give up or take on shifts as needed to maintain a sustainable work schedule.

Buying for one of our departments, usually as part of a team of buyers. All co-owners must take on buying work.
Executing store projects throughout the year with a committee. Current active committees include Finance, Maintenance, Promo, Hiring, DEI, IT, etc.
Administrative and back-end work. Everyone takes on different work according to their skillset and store needs, but this can include: Personnel: scheduling, hiring, conflict resolution, etc
Bookkeeping: accounts payable, filing taxes, and more
Evaluating fellow worker-owners through direct communication
Anything else you can imagine it takes to run a small business (like writing this job description!)

Experience working in retail and providing excellent customer service
Ability to keep yourself on task throughout the day (we have no bosses here)
Interest and/or experience with business ownership. This position is on a path of collective ownership of our business.
Experience working in a cooperative environment that requires collaboration
Experience with work that is physically demanding
A self-starter who thrives on problem-solving. You should be someone who can identify problems and then work with others to find solutions.
A cooperative mindset with customers and coworkers alike
Interest in the natural foods and products that we sell
Comfortable with giving and receiving feedback on a daily basis
**Worried you may not meet all the requirements? We encourage you to apply anyway! We are willing to train the right person.

Prior experience working in a cooperative business or other egalitarian structure
Prior experience in grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants, or other fast-paced food businesses
Being willing to ask questions and advocate for yourself as you grow into the role
A familiarity with ordering and keeping stock of inventory
A project-oriented mindset. As you grow into an owner, you will be expected to juggle projects while taking care of your core department and shift responsibilities
Experience with small business management and/or collective decision making

You will be eligible for the ownership position after a probationary period of 6 months, during which the applicant and Other Avenues decide on their mutual fit. During that period, you are evaluated three times—at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Although these evaluations are primarily a chance for the group to give you feedback, they also serve as an important check-in to make sure you are feeling supported in the role.

You will be expected to function like a worker-owner during the first six months, including attending bi-monthly board meetings and directly communicating your needs as a new applicant. A current co-owner will serve as your “buddy,” facilitating evaluations, supporting your growth, and orienting you to the flow of our unique work environment. We are looking for someone comfortable with direct communication, who understands how to advocate for themselves while supporting the needs of the business.

After being voted in as a worker-owner, a small buy-in of $300 is taken out of your paycheck in $25 increments (once per month). The buy-in is refunded to you upon leaving the business.

All co-owners must maintain a core schedule of at least 30 hours, 12 hours of which are shift work. Starting out you will have a five-day-per-week schedule, usually working at least one weekend day.

Most co-owners land on a balance of 10-15 hours of department work, 12-20 hours of department work, and 1-3 hours of admin/committee work per week. That said, everyone’s schedule is different and some take on more shifts, projects, and/or administrative work than others.

Because we allow generous vacation, all co-owners are required to fill shifts in excess of their scheduled hours. We strive to equally share this extra work among the group. We post a monthly holes calendar, and everyone is expected to volunteer for holes which work for them and their schedule.

Since we’re a co-op, we also expect all worker-owners to collaboratively run the business. Over time you’ll pick up more collective duties that fit your skills and interests, such as sitting in on monthly committee meetings, making governance decisions in board meetings, and helping with other projects as they come up. We value collective wisdom and collective decision-making, and encourage members to problem-solve together.

We encourage a healthy work-life balance that values time for family, friends, and outside fulfillments. Many co-owners are artists, writers, or other creative folks who have thriving hobbies or side jobs outside of the store.

The co-owner position is full time (at least 30 hours per week), averaging 30-40 hours a week.

Other Avenues is a worker-first business where we advocate for ourselves with a generous suite of benefits. Co-owners working 30+ hours per week enjoy the following:

A Competitive Wage

Starting Wage of $19.50/hr
Wage Increases to $21.00/hr upon Successful 6-month Evaluation
Yearly Raises
Regular Cost of Living Adjustments
Quarterly Sales Bonuses
Year-end Patronage that starts accruing after being voted in as a worker-owner. All co-owners share a portion of the surplus earnings at the end of the year, although all compensation depends on the income generated by the business.
Health Care & Wellness Benefits

100% Paid Medical Insurance (after 60 days)
100% Paid Dental and Vision Plans (after 60 days)
Renter’s Insurance
Life Insurance
Long-Term Disability Insurance
$100 Yearly Supplemental Wellness Benefits
$150 Yearly Work Shoe Reimbursement
SIMPLE IRA retirement program, upon being voted in as a worker-owner
Work-Life Balance

Flexible Hours
Up to 6 Weeks Vacation Each Year
Bereavement Leave
Paid Breaks
Generous Discount

25% Discount on All Departments
Free Produce, Dairy, Bread, & Miscellaneous Culls

The biggest benefit of working here is the chance to grow as a co-owner of a 100% worker-owned business. As a buyer, you will get a chance to develop your passion for natural foods and products. At first you will be assigned a department, but over time department roles open up naturally. It might take time, but everyone lands up in their preferred department(s) eventually.

As an owner, you will also learn how to run and operate a business collectively–which has its own set of challenges and rewards. As you grow into the role, we encourage you to seek out opportunities to improve the store, your department, and even administrative and financial policy.

We regularly attend co-op conferences, food industry events, and tastings. And it’s not all about food knowledge either. In the past, we have paid co-owners to take classes and earn certifications in wellness, accounting, and other important skills that will benefit the store.

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