The Takoma Park Silver Spring Food Co-op, affectionately known as TPSS is a natural and organic food market owned by the community. Founded in 1981, TPSS has been serving the community with access to healthy and fresh food options since before organic certification existed! The store has a strong focus on community values and sustainability.
As a Co-op, TPSS has no single owner. Anyone from the community who shops at or wants to support TPSS can become an owner of the store for a one-time fee of $100. Ownership entitles customers to ongoing discounts and promotions, owner-only sales and savings at other local businesses. Owners also assist in the governance of the store by voting for our democratically elected Board of Representatives, or on other issues of store governance. This store truly belongs to the community.
Owners and the community of TPSS care deeply for issues of environmentalism and sustainability, which are enshrined in our By-Laws. “We believe in operating all businesses for the benefit of the community, society and the planet.” TPSS seeks to minimize our impact in a variety of thoughtful ways. We aggressively recycle and compost any materials we can to keep them out of the waste stream. Serviceware such as cups, napkins and utensils are all compostable. Employees are trained to ensure everything winds up in the correct place. Edible food is donated to a local community food rescue organization when it is no longer sellable.
Commitment to buying local is second to none at the Co-op. We sell products from over 200 local vendors in all areas of the store. Supporting small, local producers helps minimize the travel time and resources that go into getting food to our shelves. Produce arrives at the Co-op fresher, to ensure you have time to prepare and eat it in your home. Food waste is a tremendous contributor to greenhouse gases and an inefficient use of growing resources. Our commitment to local farms and local food makers is an important step to reduce that.
TPSS supports and purchases certified organic products. In addition to the focus on health of the individual, organic standards were designed to focus on the health of the land and soil they are grown in. Chemical fertilizers or pesticides that have harmful effects to land and water resources are not allowed in organic farming. Organic meat must be free of growth hormones and antibiotics. A commitment to organic is a commitment to proper management of our natural resources.
The TPSS Food Co-op is located at 201 Ethan Allen Ave in Takoma Park. Parking is free and plentiful, but alternate transportation is always welcome. We hope to see you at the Co-op!