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Rainbow Grocery Cooperative

Rainbow Grocery Cooperative
Type Worker cooperative
Industry Grocery store, health food store
Founded 1975
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Area served San Francisco/Bay Area
Products Natural organic vegetarian food, household supplies, bath & body, supplements, and herbs
Members 200+

Rainbow Grocery Cooperative is a worker owned and run food cooperative located in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1975, Rainbow Grocery is a member of NoBAWC and the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives.


  • History 1
  • Controversy 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Interior of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative

Rainbow Grocery was founded by a San Francisco ashram in the early 1970s. The coordinator of the ashram's food buying club, Rich Israel, convinced the ashram to start a community food store as part of the People's Food System, a project of the People's Common Operating Warehouse of San Francisco. Rainbow Grocery opened its doors in the summer of 1975. The first store was located on 16th Street by Valencia. Rainbow first operated solely with volunteer labor. When the store started turning a profit, it hired paid staff. Ownership of the cooperative was transferred to a non-profit organization in 1976. Rainbow opened a general store in 1978 on the same block as the grocery store. A Board of Directors was elected in 1982.

In 1983, Rainbow Grocery relocated to 15th and Mission, financed by $250,000 in loans. In 1993, the organization changed their legal form to a cooperative corporation. Rainbow Grocery secured a $1 million bank loan from First National for its move to Folsom Street in 1996.


Rainbow Grocery received much media attention when its packaged grocery and bulk grocery departments stopped carrying some Israeli-made products in 2002.[1]


  1. ^ Strasburg, Jenny. Middle East unrest hits grocery store San Francisco Chronicle. 04 December 2002.

External links

  • websiteRainbow Grocery CooperativeOfficial

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