Q. Do you ship your products?
A. We do not have the ability to ship any of our products whether it be raw dairy, organic produce or grass fed meats outside of the Jacksonville, Florida area. We are strictly a pick-up based buying club.
Q. Where is your pickup location?
A. United pick up is located at Jacksonville Church of the Brethren, 4554 Prunty Street, Jacksonville, FL 32205. Dairy and Produce pick up is on the north side of Jacksonville. The address will be disclosed after your application is approved.
Q. Where do I get a United catalog?
A. Once you join Jax Natural Foods, you will be able to view an online, printable version of the United catalog free of charge every month. If you would like a hard copy you may order next month’s catalog with this month’s order.
Q. What kinds of products are sold through the buying club?
A. We can order almost anything you can buy at a regular grocery store — from bulk grains and dairy to supplements and shampoo. There are over 18,000 items to choose from, many of which are organic. We also order grass-fed meats and provide a twice a month produce and raw dairy service. Spices, personal care products, and baking aids are available through Frontier every three months.
Q. Can I use Coupons or Food Stamps ?
A. At present, we are unable to accept coupons. However, we are able to accept EBT (Food Stamps/SNAP).
Q. Is your meat pastured or “grassfed”?
A. You can get 100% grassfed beef from Peaceful Pastures. We order from them 3 times a year.
Q. If I join do I have to order every month?
A. No, you order when you need to.
Q. If I don’t order do I still have to work a volunteer shift?
A. No, you only work during the months that you order.
Q. What fees are involved in joining the buying club?
A. A $65 one time membership fee if you would like to be a Full Member or $40 one time fee if you would like to be a Limited Member which allows you to pick one supplier to order from on a regular basis. There is also a $25 yearly fee for Full Members and a $15 yearly fee for Limited Members. There is also a 5% co-op fee on each order.
Q. What kind of work do I have to do?
A. Once a month, on the months that you order, members are asked to volunteer a 3 hour work shift to help with the duties involved in running the club.
There are several options/times for volunteer work, including but not limited to every other Sunday evening from 8-11, every other Monday 10-1, every fourth Tuesday from 9-12 (ish). These are not the only options, but they are the most frequent and regular.
Q. What discount do I receive off the prices in the United database?
A. You will receive 15% off any NON-SALES items in the United database. You also PAY a 5% co-op fee, so your effective discount is 10% off the United list prices. Sales items are discounted either the amount shown in the database/catalog or 15%, whichever is greater.
Q. How are United cases filled?
A. Most items we order must be ordered in full cases. Many members do not want or need a full case of let’s say… peanut butter. As you may only wish to order 3 jars of peanut butter, and peanut butter usually comes in a case of 12 jars, the goal is to get other members to buy the remaining 9 jars.
On the web ordering system, you may view both your order as well as all of the open cases. You can choose to add to your order from the “splits list” in order to help other members out. Many cases get filled this way. If a case does not get filled then that item is removed from the order before it is placed with United.
FYI… most cases of peanut butter always get filled.
Q. Does everyone pay the 5% fee, or are some members paying less or none at all?
A. Every member who orders is charged this fee.
The Coordinators, however, do NOT pay this fee. This is their small compensation for all they do. The Coordinators have more responsibilities than the regular members and have tasks that must be performed throughout the month, not just on delivery day. In an average month, each of the Coordinators’ orders totals about $300. 5% of that order would be $15.00. This is the Coordinators’ compensation for volunteering their time and talents.
Q. How are the Membership fees and the 5% that I am charged for each of my orders spent?
A. This answer is a little more complicated because the needs of our co-op change from month to month and from season to season. Most of the money is spent on recurring costs:
- Printing fees
- Bags for splitting bulk items
- Phone and text messaging fees associated with the co-op
- This website
- Dry ice
- Food that is donated to the Church’s food bank
- Electricity for running the Produce/Meat cooler/freezer
The other things we have used this money for are as follows:
- Deposit slips
- Large cooler
- Large garden wagon
This money also supplies the club checking account with a “cushion” fund. This cushion fund protects us against things like bounced checks and delayed credits from United.
Some of the money we collected in 2007 was used to fund our 1st Annual Fall Festival to raise community awareness and build club membership. In 2008 some of this money was spent on updating this website and also allowed us to be an exhibitor at the inaugural Jacksonville Green Expo October 18th and 19th, 2008. 2009 brought us a new large cooler/refrigerator to help protect members produce and dairy orders.
Q. Are prices on the website guaranteed?
A. No, they are not. At times, prices will change without notice due to circumstances beyond our control such as availability, market conditions or human error.
Q. How do I begin ordering from United?
A. Our ordering system is web-based. Once your application is approved, you will receive a login and password that you can use to compile your order. The web ordering system can be accessed here.
Q. What forms of payment do you take?
A. Check and PayPal. Please remember that PayPal is accepted as a convenience for you and club members are expected to pay all associated fees.
Q. Who are the Jax Natural Foods Coordinators?