Sevananda is an independent, local, community-owned store that is operated as a cooperative run by and for our member-owners since 1974. What is for sale and how we do business is decided right here, not in a corporate boardroom. So we’re responsive to community needs in ways no corporate store can ever be. And we’re free to support local events, education and initiatives that promote good food, healthy living and community well-being. Become a co-op member, volunteer, or just take a class. It ís all part of making our world a little better place to live.
By: Holly B.
Membership & Promotions
Welcome to Sevananda‘s new website! We are really happy to have this, and be able to reach out in new and exciting ways. One of those ways is the blogs for each department, and this is the one about our community. That’s a word you hear bandied about quite a bit. Sometimes it’s politicians trying to tell you how much they care about their constituents. Other times it’s someone trying to get you to sign something to change a perceived wrong. In our case, community means a little bit more than either of those examples.
Here in the heart of L5P (Little 5 Points) we have an amazing experiment-in-progress that has been going on essentially since 1974. The idea behind the founding of the store (originally called The Egg and the Lotus, by the way) was to share expenses across a group of people for healthy food they all wanted to buy. And if you think about it, we’re still doing pretty much the same thing. Sure, our scale and scope is quite a bit larger than it was in ’74, but we also have thousands more Member Owners as well. This is our community, Little 5 Points, where we’ve been for over 30 years, making us one of the cornerstone places in the neighborhood, along with Charis Books and B.O.N.D. Community Federal Credit Union.
Our community is also wherever you come from. You may live in Douglasville or drive from Alabama to get here. You don’t have to live here to be a part of Sevananda. Anyone walking in the door is welcome to shop, talk and socialize in the community of Sevananda. Our name translates from Sanskrit and means: The Joy of Service. This is a really good, even great ideal to live up to every day.
So many times, a life of service can be admired from afar by those who do not do it themselves. But here at Sevananda, you’re taking part in serving your community every time you shop here. Your patronage helps fund our Be The Change program, which works with a dozen different non-profits annually. Every time you round-up your total to the next dollar at the register or if you shop on the last Saturday of the month, those monies are given directly to those groups. Even if your life does not allow for volunteering directly, you can still help these groups serve the many in need, exemplifying the real meaning of community: working together for a shared future and the greater good for all.
We also have nearly 100 local and regional businesses whose products we carry in the store. Even if you don’t buy Hathor’s Creations soaps — made by our very own Accounts Payable department’s Michalea — when you buy anything at all in the store you’re helping these local vendors. This is a big part of who we are as a community-oriented shop. Concern for Community is principle 7 in the co-op principles, after all. This is just one of the ways in which we express the principle.
So, that’s where Sevananda started out all those years ago. We’ve not travelled far from these ideas and ideals to get to where we are today, and we’re grateful that so many of you have chosen to travel this path with us.
To close with one of my favorite quotes that shows me what the very idea of community means, I use the words of Ron L. Moore here. “He who raises others, raises himself.” And to quote Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man) I also say, “…’nuff said!”