We are excited to announce that 2017 was a very profitable year for Mariposa! In alignment with our bylaws, Mariposa will distribute patronage refunds to share a portion of profits made from owner sales in 2017.  The Board has declared that 30% of the profit made from owner sales, $52,664.63, be distributed as a patronage refund. This is up from the 20% that was distributed in 2016 and the average refund will be approximately three times more than last year.

Please Note: As of Friday, October 12, 2018, Mariposa Food Co-op is no longer distributing patronage refunds for 2017. 

If you have a question that has not been answered below, please contact Owner Services at ownership@mariposa.coop or 215-729-2121 x03.

Patronage Basics

What is a patronage refund?

Patronage refunds (or dividends) are the cooperative method of sharing a co-op’s earnings with its owners in profitable years. Your patronage refund is based on your total purchases for that particular year and the profit that the Co-op made on those purchases.


**A patronage refund is not your refundable equity investment. Learn more about equity here.

Will I get a patronage refund every year and whose decision is it?

Patronage can only be distributed in profitable years and at the discretion of the Board of Delegates. Typically, the General Manager recommends a few options and the Board uses this information when making their decision.

Who qualifies for the patronage refund?

Owners who purchased $113 or more of retail products in 2017 are eligible to receive refunds. Total purchases below this amount yield a refund less than $2 and will not be distributed.

Equity payments are not included in the calculation for patronage refunds. If you joined on or after January 1st,  2018 you will not be eligible to receive a 2017 refund.

How is patronage calculated?

At the end of the fiscal year, after determining the amount of owner-generated profit (based on the  percentage of owners sales from total sales), the Board decides on a refund percentage to distribute, if any.  According to the IRS, at least 20% of patronage must be distributed to the owners when a dividend has been declared (this is the “refund”). The Board may choose to retain up to 80% of the patronage dividend for projected capital expenses and other business needs.


Last year, we were able to use some of this retained capital to purchase new freezers, create a cement ramp in the backyard to ease stocking and receiving, and fund the Food For All program.

How will I receive my patronage refund?

All qualified owners will be notified of their refund via email. Those who do not have an email on file will receive notice by mail. Those who live out of state or in the surrounding suburbs will receive a check in the mail.

Once notice is received, refunds can be redeemed by asking a cashier to look it up by last name and owner number at the register. Bringing in notice is not necessary this year. Refunds may be redeemed for:

  • Credit toward a current purchase.

  • Account credit for use at any time.

  • A check (may take up to two weeks to issue from request date).

Refunds must be redeemed by Friday, October 12th. Any unredeemed refunds will be donated to a 501(c)3 non-profit. If you cannot get to the Co-op before this date, please contact ownership@mariposa.coop

Please update your contact information if it has recently changed.

Do I have to claim this as income on my tax return?

No. The IRS regards this as a refund, not income. If you are a business, you may want to check with your tax preparer.

Patronage example