The Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA) is a cooperative whose members are co-ops in the Philadelphia region. PACA is also a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to growing the cooperative economy. Learn more about membership on our ‘Join Us‘ page.
Our mission is to improve the lives of people in the Philadelphia region by supporting democratically organized businesses, promoting the principles of the international cooperative movement, and growing the cooperative economy.
We envision a vibrant and growing network of cooperative enterprises that operate in all sectors of the economy to build a better world—providing essential services, strengthening democratic organizations, creating quality jobs, building community wealth, reducing poverty, strengthening our local economy, protecting the environment and increasing community engagement.
Members of PACA
Sb1 Federal Credit Union is a Philadelphia credit union that provides accessible banking opportunities to individuals and companies. Founded in 1977, Sb1 serves the Philadelphia community and beyond. As of the beginning of 2014, the credit union had over 32,000 members, a number which has since increased as membership continues to expand.
The Energy Co-op is a consumer co-op that supplies renewable energy to residents of Philadelphia and five surrounding counties. Established in 1979, The Energy Co-op provides electricity, heating oil and biodiesel. While most energy co-ops are based out-of-state, The Energy Co-op is the only locally based energy co-op in the area and is currently over 6,500 members strong.
Weaver’s Way Co-op is a long established Philadelphia food co-op. Founded in the early 1970’s, Weaver’s Way has grown exponentially from its initial location in a small, rented deli to its four retail locations today. Located in Northwest Philadelphia, there are currently over 5,000 households who are member-owners of the co-op, representing more than 10,000 people. Weaver’s Way is also intentional about supporting and sourcing local, sustainable foods and has two local CSA farms which both sell food and offer educational initiatives.
Mariposa Food Co-op is a consumer food co-op located in the Cedar Park neighborhood of West Philadelphia. Founded in the late 1970’s, In 2012, Mariposa moved into a new and larger location down the street from its founding space. With the move, Mariposa’s hours and membership increased significantly and the food co-op is now open seven days a week and has a membership of over 1,600.
Home Care Associates is a worker-owned, home care service provider that offers in-home medical care, personal care and household chores. The cooperative provides both one-time and ongoing care. Home Care Associates also serves its worker-owners and employees through an intensive, skill-building training program. In 2014, Home Care Associates was the third-largest women-owned business in the Philadelphia region.
The Life Center Association, or LCA for short, is a non-profit land trust based in West Philadelphia that consists of nine cooperatively run properties—seven houses, one apartment and one community garden. Founded in 1971 with the intent of providing affordable housing primarily to activists, the LCA has grown over the years in both membership and properties, but its grounding in the cooperative model has remained.
Three Childspace Daycare Centers in different Philadelphia neighborhoods provide daycare and afterschool care for children aged four months through kindergarten. The first daycare center opened in Mt. Airy in 1988. The two additional centers were later opened in Germantown and West Philadelphia. The Childspace Centers operate by a two part organizational model that consists of a board comprised of Childspace parents, staff and community supports and a worker cooperative of Childspace staff who are member-owners of the centers.
Valley Greene Apartments
Valley Greene Apartments is a housing co-op located on the banks of the Wissahickon that was established in 1963. Formerly Ethan Allen Colonial Apartments, Inc., the purpose of the corporation is to provide homes for its shareholders under a proprietary lease. Ethan Allen believed that people had certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and property and that middle class families should own property. This is the motivation behind Valley Greene Apartments, a housing cooperative in which the living arrangement is such that the tenants are the landlord.
South Philly Food Co-op is a member-owned, cooperative grocery store that was initiated in 2010. Founded by South Philly residents, the co-op is still in its planning stages but already has a growing membership of close to 600 member-owners. While still developing, in addition to sourcing a variety of fairly priced foods, South Philly Food Co-op also envisions partnering with other local businesses. The more member-owners the co-op has, the sooner its opening date comes, so new members are encouraged and welcomed!
Sun Federal Credit Union is a member owned, cooperative credit union. Founded in 1950, Sun Federal has branch locations in Philadelphia and in multiple states in addition to Pennsylvania. Like other credit unions, Sun Federal does not pay stockholders and has a volunteer board of directors that customer-members elect. The credit union is currently 30,000 members and growing.
The Greene Street Artists Cooperative is an artist-owned and operated living and work space. Founded in 1989, the artist co-op is located in an old factory building in Germantown and consists of 17 living/studio units where artists live and do their creative work. In addition to being a housing and work space for its members, Greene Street Artists Cooperative periodically hosts open studios, classes and art events that are open to the public.
We are an all-volunteer Steering Committee dedicated to building PACA into a strong organization that can advance the cooperative movement in the Philadelphia area. In November 2014, we will transition to a formal elected board of directors at our first Annual Member Meeting.
PACA is a member of:
How PACA was formed
Born in the planning stages of the June 13, 2012 conference, the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance is continuing to make progress on its own organizational development in the midst of its varied projects. In February 2012 a commitment was made to creating a membership organization for area co-ops with a board and staff. In March PACA formulated its mission: “to improve the Philadelphia region by growing the cooperative economy.”
At our Nov 10, 2012 Co-op Summit we further discussed our vision, mission, and goals along with our membership structure and governance. Our new steering committee is now charged with the task of moving us forward including incorporation, bylaws, and member recruitment–as we continue with our projects: an economic impact study of regional co-ops, public policy initiatives, and the establishment of a co-op loan fund.