Ah, the Park Slope Food Coop: known as much for its low-low prices on sustainable, ecofriendly crosnes and broccoli rabe as it is for its management’s authoritarian rule. They run a tight ship over there! You’d better work your shift if you expect to get your grubby little mitts on some of that lovely produce! Everybody we know who belongs is “on notice” pretty much around the clock for exactly that reason — it can be hard to carve out a couple of hours every month to stock shelves. But some of the more well-heeled members seem to have found a solution: They just send their nannies to cover their shifts. As you might expect, people are furious about it, and not just because they didn’t think of it first.
Fucked in Park Slope first brought the issue to light last week, and now the Brooklyn-obsessed Times has taken up the case. They caught up with one member — who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the coop — who said it wasn’t okay. But another member, Jeremie Delon, a self-described on-again, off-again member and “punk rocker at heart” was, like, eh, whatevs. Fuck the man. The management, for their part, says members can’t pay anyone to do their shifts, but admits it’s pretty difficult to enforce that particular edict. Our favorite take on the matter, by far, is from the Cuban husband of a member’s friend: “His assessment of the co-op is that the co-op is worse than socialism,” the member told the Times. “Because at least in a socialist country, if you know the right people, you can get out of it.”
But there’s a loophole: If your nanny lives with you, not only can he or she shop for you, but he or she actually has to be a member, since the coop board mandates that all adult members of a household must join.
Here’s the thing. You’re not really saving any money — one of the coop’s big draws — if you’re paying people to go do your shopping for you. If you’ve got all that cash to burn, rich coop members, why don’t you just send your nannies to Eataly or Garden of Eden?