Our Mission & History

quince blossoms

Healthy business * Healthy people * Healthy planet *

Our goals are:

  • To maintain a thriving business.
  • To provide food and supplies for sustainable living, and exemplary service.
  • To support organic and local farms, cooperatives, and other small businesses.
  • To serve as a model of workplace democracy for the community.


Our buying guidelines are, whenever possible:

  • To emphasize organic, sustainable, vegetarian, and fairly-traded products (our Produce section is 100% certified organic)
  • To educate customers on the political implications of our buying choices
  • To avoid artificial flavors, preservatives, GMO ingredients, and unnecessary packaging


Other Avenues opened its doors in 1974 by the participants of the Food Conspiracy, a grass roots organization of food buying clubs dedicated to buying and distributing wholesale food among themselves.  Driven by the spirit of sustainable communities, the clubs expanded and opened over a dozen storefronts like Other Avenues, a large warehouse and other supporting organizations.  Collectively calling themselves “The People’s Food System” with the motto “Food for people, not for profit,” these stores thrived for over a decade and then faded away.  By the 1990s most of the stores had closed their doors, but Other Avenues remains open today, preserving the legacy of the People’s Food System.

Other Avenues has always been called a co-op by its patrons and the Other Sunset community, however it officially incorporated as a worker-owned cooperative in 1999.  Before that period, Other Avenues functioned as a hybrid community membership co-op managed by its workers.  Presently, Other Avenues is worker-owned and only the workers are members.  Workers manage the business democratically by making business decisions using the consensus model.  We believe that it is as important to sustain a healthy democratic business as it is to nourish our bodies with healthy food.


Other Avenues 2012 group photo (not all collective members present) by SF photographer rrrezzz


Other Avenues 2010 group photo