Why we raised our starting wage to $13/hour

In August, Mariposa Food Co-op increased its new entry level starting wage to $13 per hour, the highest starting wage among Philadelphia area grocery stores.

As a model for good jobs in the Philadelphia area, Mariposa Food Co-op is excited to become a leader in the retail industry at a time when workers’ rights are threatened by the expansion of large corporations. Lower prices too often come at the expense of worker compensation, including livable wages; affordable and accessible health benefits; and scheduling and hiring practices.

 People over profit. $13/hour is the highest entry level starting wage among Philadelphia grocery stores.

People over profit. $13/hour is the highest entry level starting wage among Philadelphia grocery stores.

Mariposa Food Co-op operates as a democratic workplace in which employees are empowered to contribute to organizational decisions by serving on staff-elected committees and voting on internal practices. Over the last year, Mariposa’s leadership team and personnel committee examined the Co-op’s financial state and compensation practices. A unanimous decision was passed in August 2017 to significantly increase the starting wage in order to uphold the values of the Co-op.  

“Understandably, Mariposa staff have been very supportive of this positive change, but not just because it means that each individual will be making more money,” says Maggie Gummere, Mariposa’s HR Manager. “There's a shared sense of pride of how much the Co-op has grown over the past 5 years. It's exciting for all of us to see proof of our long-standing desire and commitment to providing good jobs within our community. The wage increase means that we're really living up to that standard in a lot of ways."

Mariposa’s new starting wage for entry level positions stands at $5.75 above the state minimum wage of $7.25 and $1.30 above Philadelphia’s livable wage, as determined by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.