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235. How a funeral co-op was born

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Coop Name: PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Funeral Cooperative N° of Employees: 7
City: Seattle N° of Members: 75000
Country: United States Year of formation: 2007
Website: http://www.funerals.coop Twitter: Link
Facebook: Link
About this coop:

PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Funeral Cooperative is a member-owned funeral home founded to serve the communities of the Seattle-King County area. As a member-owned cooperative, our focus is on serving our members and their families rather than on meeting sales quotas.

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After having its funeral home contracts cancelled twice in 18 months by a large mulinational corporation, Service Corporation International, the members of PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Association voted at their annual meeting on April 12, 2007 to open their own cooperative funeral home in Seattle.

This new funeral home would be owned by the members of PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Association. In a matter of 7 weeks, the board and staff were able to get the cooperative incorporated and licensed as a funeral home, lease office space, purchase furniture and equipment as well as hiring and training staff.

PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Funeral Cooperative opened its doors June 11, 2007 on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, sharing a suite with the membership office of People’s Memorial Association. From the beginning, the funeral cooperative has had a reputation for providing simple, economical funeral arrangements and quality customer service.

PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Funeral Cooperative is one of only six cooperative funeral homes in the US. It is the only funeral co-op on the West Coast as well as the only one located in a metropolitan area. The Funeral Cooperative now handles the funeral arrangements for approximately 1 in 12 deaths in the Seattle area and after just five years of operation is one of the largest volume funeral homes in the state of Washington.

Author of this story
John Eric Rolfstad
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