Together, Community Pharmacy and Community Wellness Shop are an independent, worker-managed cooperative whose mission is to promote better health in our customers and our community.
In the fall of 1972, the UW-Madison Wisconsin Student Association (WSA) sponsored a volunteer-run pharmacy to provide students with affordable medications. After two years, Community Pharmacy became its own independent entity, run collectively by its pharmacists and staff. Today, we have grown to support more than 20 full-time staff at two locations (with a full prescription pharmacy downtown).
We provide our customers a full range of affordable options, including prescriptions (downtown only), herbs, supplements, sexual health and natural body care products, and homeopathic remedies. Many of our products are sourced from small, local businesses and companies that prioritize sustainability over maximizing profits. We take time to learn deeply about the products we sell, and we enjoy educating our customers so that they can find the information and products they need. Community Pharmacy was founded on the principle that information and choice are crucial in making sound health decisions. That same ethos guides all of our actions today.
Why a Workers’ Cooperative?
We are a worker-run cooperative, which means all decisions shaping our business are made collectively by our staff. Workers contribute by joining teams responsible for specialized tasks and projects. These teams effectively run day-to-day operations of Community Pharmacy and and Community Wellness Shop, including accounting, buying, merchandising, public relations, human resources, long-range planning and more. With no managers or owners, this model empowers our staff to shape and develop the business they’d like to see.
Our ability to help our community goes hand-in-hand with the health, happiness and enthusiasm of our workers. We strive to provide workplaces where each individual worker is valued and provided the means necessary to make themselves, the cooperative and the community as vibrant as it can be.