My Co-Op Story: Owner, Jon Potrykus

Each month, we ask one of our owners to talk about why they chose to invest in the Bay City Cooperative Market. Owner Jon Potrykus is a local musician, writer, healer and activist. He and his band Cornpone recently performed at our Co-op Grow Up Mardi Gras event in February.

BCCM: First off, Jon, we are so happy that you are part of our BCCM family! Tell us why building a cooperative grocery store in Bay City is important to you.

JON: Well… the feeling of community is lost in the check-out line of any chain store. The Mom and Pop’s are history, save for the punchline of “party store”. The corporate “families” get richer every day, while defining for everyone who shops them how to think about food and telling them what they need to be a “happy family”.

BCCM: You’re talking about corporate chains’ somewhat illusionary marketing strategies?

JON: Sure. It’s all an illusion. Seriously, I became an owner in an effort to make the illusion more of a reality that I can relate to. To create a community where the community comes first and profits are less important than people. A place where there is true caring, compassion, appreciation and gratitude.

BCCM: I like the way you think. Cooperatives are about working together to build stronger, healthier communities.

JON: Looking back on the first co-op meeting I attended, I was invited to say a few words in front of a camera by my friend, Cary Ewing, about how I felt about the prospect of a Bay City co-op. All I remember from the experience is saying that “we have to get back to the garden.”

BCCM: Yep. That’s what it’s all about!