Our goal is to sell at least 350 Preference Shares ($100 each).

Please consider supporting this venture, even with partial share if $100 is too much.


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About Preference Shares:

Preference shares are bought by members and investors in order to help the co-operative build capital and increase its chances of success. Preference shares have a return of Prime Rate plus 2%. Preference shareholders are paid returns on their shares with preference over regular member shares. This means that before co-operative members may be paid patronage returns based on their consumption, preference shareholders will be paid out dividends on their shares. All returns are issued at the discretion of ECC’s directors. You should not expect to see a return on your investment until ECC begins to see profits. For information on how to redeem your shares, please refer to our By-Laws.

Investing in a Co-operative vs. a Business Corporation:

Business corporations are legally bound by one Golden Rule: to assure the highest profits possible for their shareholders. And although co-operatives also rely on profitability to ensure survival, competitiveness and growth, they are also organized under principles of justice and equity, abiding the needs and rights of their members. In the case of Ethical Coffee Chain, our purpose is to supply coffee consumers with ethically grown, harvested and produced coffee at competitive prices. If our chief aim were to maximize profits for our shareholders it would be bad business to pay our farmers more and lower the prices for our consumers. Yet this is exactly what we do as a consumer-cooperative…and we think we’re a good business.

In the end, Business Corporations are financially beheld to their shareholders. In fact, they are contractually liable to them on most operational levels. Co-operatives, however, are controlled by the collective will and ambition of its members - and unlike corporate shareholders, each ECC member bears an equal vote, no matter how many shares they may own.

Types of Shares:

ECC can issue out either membership shares or preference shares. Membership shares must be purchased by people who purchase coffee from ECC. Preference shares can be bought by members and non-members alike and are sold as stakes in capital fundraising.


Membership Shares

Preference Shares


Required to be able to purchase coffee from ECC.

To raise capital.


Minimum of ONE $2 share.

No minimum or maximum. Get as many as you wish!

Voting Rights

One vote per member.

No vote, except for in meetings of preference shareholders concerning issues specific to preference shares.


Dividends are based on patronage. Profits are redistributed to members based on the consumption of each member. 

Prime Rate plus 2%


Redeemed at the discretion of the Board of Directors and the membership and only after Preference Shareholders have been paid dividends.

Redeemed at the discretion of the Board of Directors and members, and before any dividends are distributed to membership shareholders.

Investment Risk Factors:

Market for Shares

There is presently no market for the shares being issued nor is a market expected to develop. Transfers of Preference Shares require Board approval. Management will strive to match buyers and sellers, but no guarantee assures holders of these shares an opportunity to sell them.

Long Term Investment

Purchases of the shares offered herein should be considered long term investments which may not be suitable for investors who may need to sell their shares quickly in order to raise money. Investors who require regular returns from their investments should seriously consider whether or not to purchase Preference Shares. ECC offers thoroughgoing consultation and disclosure for any and all prospective Preference Share investors.

Other Risk Factors

The Co-operative may also be subject to other risk factors that could potentially affect its profitability and solvency. Some of these risk factors could include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • failure to comply with governing statutes

  • increased competition

  • commodity prices

While the Board of Directors does not view these risk factors as of immediate concern at this time, potential adverse changes in these areas may limit the Co-operative’s ability to pay dividends and redeem shares.


What do you get?

All preference shareholders receive:

  • An annual rate of return of Prime Rate plus 2%
  • Good karma, having helped transform the lives and livelihoods of hundreds (and eventually thousands, hopefully) of farmers, labourers and their families enriched through doing business the ECC way.

Preference shares are bought by members and investors in order to help our co-operative build capital and increase its chances of success as it takes root in the marketplace and begins to grow.

We need to sell a minimum of 350 preference shares which will go toward:

  • A marketing campaign as the business is set up and memberships are collected
  • Purchasing our first large order of coffee and distributing the beans to our members.
  • All other costs associated with starting a business