How to run a food co-op or bulk buying group

Comms Team – tasks for Emails and Membership

Email monitoring & Forwarding:
  • Obtain login & password from previous Comms team
  • Check regularly and Forward emails to the relevant parties.
    • Finance (Currently Group A)
    • Stock (Currently Group B)
    • Comms (Currently Group C) forward to individual volunteers for membership etc.
  • Whole collective e-list:
  • Group specific emails:

Weekly Newsletter

When you start in this role - email to let them know you’re doing the newsletter, so they know to send you the ‘What’s at the Hut’ info each week.

Each week, ideally on Monday:
  • Go to Mailchimp and login:
  • go into Templates
  • replicate the last newsletter and rename it
  • edit it:
    • put ‘new’ news into the top section
    • place information on ‘what’s at the hut this week’ into the box (This information will come from stock -
    • keep whatever reference information in the other boxes is still useful
  • send it to yourself
  • click ‘forward’, then edit to remove the quotations and edit the subject line
  • forward to the ‘everyone’ google group

Maintaining Email Lists:

Adding new members to the google groups:
  1. Sign in to the account
  2. In a new tab search for googlegroups, or go directly to:
  3. On the left side column open the chewsdaycollective group
  4. On the top right banner go to “Manage”
  5. On the left side column go to Members → Direct add members
  6. Enter all the email addresses and a welcome message:
    Welcome to the Chews Day Collective!

    This is the whole-group email list, for announcements or conversations that involve all members of the collective. Please only reply to the group if you need to reach everyone, otherwise please reply to specific individuals, or follow the contacts below.

    You will also be added to a separate google group for your Packing group, so you can co-ordinate with other members.


    For finance issues, including problems with your purchases and accounts email them directly on

    If you have stock queries, special requests, or would like to add something or find something that we haven't had for a while contact the stock group directly on

    Otherwise email the comms team - - and we will get in touch with the correct person directly.

  7. In ‘email subscription options’, click on ‘All email’ (this is important! If not ticked, then they will not receive any of the emails).
  8. Click Add (blue button at top) (you will then be asked to tick ‘I am not a robot’).
  9. Now go back to groups, and select the Packing group they are joining (eg Group A)
  10. Do the same process, for all addresses. This adds them to their sub group. Welcome message:
    Welcome to Packing group ____

    Your next packing date is: ____

    Your team will pack once every four weeks, involving 1.5 – 2.5 hours of your time. Your co-ordinator will be in touch to organise who will help at different times over the night, from set up (around 5 pm) through to pack up (usually 8.30-9.00 pm)

  11. Send an email to that google group to welcome the members and introduce them to their packing group
    Hi group ___ members,
    this message is to welcome our newest member, ______, to the Chewsday collective and to our packing group.
    We'll look forward to meeting you at our next packing night, on Tuesday __ _______. We'll be in touch closer to the date, to organise who will help at different times from set up til pack up.
Removing old members:
Google group e-lists: Go to Manage, select all relevant email addresses / google accounts, and select ‘Actions’ drop-down from the top menu, then ‘Remove from group’

Membership Maintenance

New Member

1. Send any prospective new member the first intro email:
This gives a brief intro, and a link to the ‘Chews Day Model’, as a brief overview and outline of what membership means,
link to PDF link to Word doc (if you need to edit, download directly as Word doc, rather than converting to a google doc, which changes formatting drastically)

The email also gives a link to our online Membership Form:
This form is where new members can give their contacts, choose to become a ‘trial’ or ‘full’ member, etc. and it will automatically fill into a spreadsheet (viewable only by us – it is secure, and no bank details are requested).

Finally, the first email has a section for ‘More Information’, giving further details on how the group works, volunteering, ordering etc.

Online Membership Form:
To view responses, or to edit:
log in to Google as and go to this link:
2. Once the new member has replied and filled in the online Membership Form, then:
For trial members:

Send them the New members - second email - TRIAL members.docx

Add to Lettuceshare (see 3 below)

Do not yet allocate a Packing group.

Do not yet add to Google Groups - forward them any important messages if needed.

Send their details to the finance team (to check payment) and the stock team (to ensure their first order is capped at $100)

Let the packing co-ordinator know that they will visit the next packing night when they will pick up their first order.

After their first order, they should pay within 1 week of their invoice.

Contact them again after that week to ask if they wish to continue or cease membership:

If you decide you want to continue, please let me know, and pay your refundable $50 deposit. Then, I will activate a full account, and you will join one of the packing groups (packing once every 4 weeks).
If you decide it's not for you, that's fine. Simply pay for your first order, and you're done. (Feel free to send us any feedback, but there's no obligation).

Check with finance that they have paid.

If they decide NOT to join, then check the account has been finalised, then make their Lettuceshare account inactive (Account → enter username → untick ‘Active’).

If they decide to join, then Allocate the member to a Packing group, send them their packing group information by email, and go to step 4.

For Full members:

Send them the second email: New members - second email - FULL members.docx

Add them to lettuceshare (see 3 below)

Allocate the member to a Packing group, and include this information in the email.
If possible we aim to have similar numbers of members in each packing group, but we can try to accommodate any preferences.

3. Add them to Lettuceshare.
Your account in Lettuceshare will need appropriate permissions to create new accounts, which can be requested from other Chewsday admins.
Each household will have one, shared username, for a single Lettuceshare account. (The other contacts will be used for the Google groups, and don’t need to be added here). First log in, then go to the account button, click on manage account then fill in their details. They will receive an auto generated email with their password, reference and our bank details.

4. Add the new members’ details to Google groups

both the collective group and their packing group. (Do this for each of the members of the household who will be ordering/packing, if there is more than one)
5. Send an email to the Packing group to introduce the new member.

6. If someone is co-ordinating SMS reminders for ordering, send them the new contacts.

Leaving Members

1. Ask the member to contact finance:
Could you please send an email to the Finance team ( giving your name and bank details so they can finalise your account?
Chewsday Username
Bank Account Name
Bank Account Number

2. Remove their details from the Google Groups - both Collective and their packing group.

3. Let their group co-ordinator know about the change to members of the packing group.

4. If a Chews Day volunteer is sending SMS reminders for ordering, send them an updated contacts list, with the leaving person removed.

5. Wait until Finance sends an email notifying the member of their refund, and CCs this to the address:
Then – make the member’s account ‘inactive’ in Lettuceshare…
Log in, then go to the account button, click “manage account”,
type in their user name (the system then searches and loads information on the existing username), and finally, uncheck “active” check box.

This enables us to retain information on past members, as they are retained as ‘inactive’ accounts on Lettuceshare. (Previously this was done using excel spreadsheets, with a ‘past members’ tab).

Notes potentially useful for responding to enquiries:

Note on Ordering and Availability:

Items and Prices:
The current list of available items is attached.
For the dry goods, chiller and bakery items, there is no minimum order for the group, so you can order whatever quantity you want, and it will arrive.
For fruits and vegetables, you specify exactly how much you want to order for each item (e.g. 0.6 kg, or a number). Please note, however, that we need the group's total to be above a minimum amount for each item (so that it works out for us and for the growers). The group usually meets quota for the listed items, but please be aware that sometimes you may order something and it will not be included in the final group order. You won't be charged anything, and as we become a larger group we hope this will happen only infrequently.

Note on organic certification, in relation to enquiries:

We respect your desire to purchase certified organic produce, for your certainty, and/or to support the farmers who invest in certification.

In some cases the chemical-free or non-certified organic nature of the produce is due to our group (and Food Connect) building relationships with farmers who are geographically closer, or with smaller-scale farmers who are in the process of organic certification (which requires years of continuous organic practices) or who are not able to afford certification.

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