Mission & History

The Idea’s Behind Glut:

Not-for-Profit

Glut is a not-for-profit charitable trust. It is a non-stock corporation, and so there is no owner. The prices at Glut are calculated to cover the cost of food plus operating expenses. Any surplus must be re-channeled into Glut.

Worker Managed Cooperative:

Glut is democratically managed by staff members (the Collective) who share equal responsibility for the store. You might say there is no manager or better yet – every collective member is a manager. Policy is arrived at by consensus, at open bi-weekly staff meetings that are held every other Monday at 8:15. Meetings are closed when discussing personnel issues (including hiring). Please see a collective member for details if you’d like to attend a meeting.

While there are different types of co-ops, Glut is a workers Co-op, which were more common when Glut was founded than they are today. What this means to you is, you don’t have to be a member to shop at Glut, everyone get’s the same products at the same low prices.

Our Progressive History:

Glut has traditionally supported peace, environmental and social justice movements. This is rooted in our 1969 founding by conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War. At the time food coops, alternative newspapers and free health clinics were an integral part of a movement that went far beyond opposition to the war. In lieu of military service, they created a buying club to bring cheap, wholesome food to the people in the city. In 1971, having outgrown the church basements that they had been using, Glut moved its operations to a larger space, a warehouse they rented on 34th Street in Mt. Rainier. As it expanded, a number of “satellite” buying clubs formed. Based in surrounding communities, these clubs would place orders through Glut then sign up for work shifts to help divide up what was bought. Eventually, Glut expanded our membership and opened our doors to the general public.

In keeping with our roots we make donations (generally in the form of store credit) to support organizations that are part of the continuing environmental, peace and social justice movements. Our focus is on groups local to the Washington, DC area.

People often want to know where the money they spend is going. Instead of into the hands of some rich executives or stock holders, any money left over from Glut’s day to day operations goes into larger Glut improvement projects, and then any surplus that our co-op generates helps to continue and nurture movements that the collective believe meet our criterion and mission. Below are links to just a few of the local organizations you have helped to support through your purchases at Glut:

Black Voices for Peace
The Compassion Center

The Quixote Center

Washington Peace Center

WPFW – Pacifica Radio

Piscataway Indian Nation

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