The following are some of our most frequently asked questions. You can search using the form below or browse the list below. Simply click on any of the questions to view the answer. If your question is not listed here, please do not hesitate to contact us.


I thought I had to be a member to shop at the co-op. What’s the story?

The Sussex County Food Co-op is open to the public 7 days a week. You don’t have to be a member to shop here, but members pay a lower price than non-members. On Tuesdays non-members do get a 10% discount.

I don’t need twenty pounds of flour — or anything else! My household is small. The last thing I need is to have to buy something that will take me a dog’s age to consume by myself.

The co-op buys in bulk so you don’t have to.

Purchasing grains, flour, nuts, pasta, dried fruit and other foods in bulk amounts of, say, 25 pounds, enables the co-op to obtain products not usually found in conventional supermarkets — as well as to pass along cost savings.

If you only need a cup of sugar or a couple of teaspoons of spices, we’ll be happy to sell you that much. On the other hand, if you use lots of something like soy milk, we’ll gladly special order your favorite brand by the case.

Talk about economical! You can buy the amount you need, when you need it or bring in your own container and fill it with our bulk goods.  Try doing that at a supermarket or wholesale club.

On an ecologically virtuous note, purchasing in bulk cuts down on the amount of cardboard and shrink-wrap packaging that ultimately winds up in a landfill (if consumers don’t recycle it).

Is the co-op some kind of buying club?

Not any longer. It started out as a buying club in the 1970s. In 1980 the present co-op was established as a not-for-profit natural foods consumer cooperative with a retail store open to the public.

Can I pay with my credit card?

We do accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards.  At this time we are unable to accept American Express.

Does the coop accept manufacturers’ coupons?

We do not accept coupons because of the additional administrative overhead that would increase our cost of doing business. Rest assured: You don’t need to clip coupons to get a “bargain” at the co-op. 

Why don’t you have evening hours?

We do! The co-op is open from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM on Tuesdays and 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Fridays.

Why does all the merchandise have two prices on it?

Everything we sell carries a Member Price and a Public Price. (Guess who pays the lower price?!)

Is it a good deal for me to join the co-op as a member?

You’ll have to decide that for yourself. Aside from the purely monetary benefits of shopping at reduced member prices, you have to determine whether you have the time and energy to fulfill the work commitment. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or are philosophically supportive of organic agriculture, for instance, then you might enjoy meeting kindred spirits — but you can certainly do that as a shopper!

If you have special dietary needs, it may be to your advantage to join the co-op, even as a non-working member… 

In any case, we suggest you do some comparison shopping with a typical week’s shopping list, then do the math and figure the logistics for your lifestyle and circumstances.

I’ve got a deadline crunch at work and can’t make it to the co-0p to work my scheduled hours this week. What do I do?

Please phone the store at (973) 579-1882 during business hours and tell the manager on duty that you cannot make it. If you know in advance that you have to reschedule, please alert us as soon as possible so we can call in reinforcements if we need to — when we are scheduled to receive a big delivery, for instance. Thanks for your consideration!

Can I send one of my kids to work the hours for me?

Only if they are not minors (who are legally prohibited from handling food).  If you have any questions, please speak with a manager before sending offspring over to work your hours.

Between working full-time and caring for my school-age children and elderly parents, I have no time and even less energy to work at the co-op. But I love buying my groceries there. What can I do?

Consider joining the co-op as a Non-Working Member. Instead of working 2 hours per month (24 hours per year), you pay $20 per month (or a single $216 payment for the entire year) plus the annual membership fee. In return, you pay member prices. See the new and renewal membership forms on our Join page. An even simpler alternative is to shop at the co-op on Tuesdays, when we discount all sales to non-members by 10%. Remember, this discount applies to special orders, too.

Do I have to place an order in advance, or can I just come in and shop when it’s convenient for me?

By all means come in and shop when it’s convenient.  If you need an item we don’t usually stock, or if you need a large quantity of something, print out, complete, and submit the online order form to a sales associate.

We’ll phone you when your order comes in.

Of course, you can always speak with a manager to find out if the item is available from our suppliers and when we expect delivery.