Food Conspiracy Co-op

Location of Opportunity: 
Off Campus
Host Department/Organization: 

Food Conspiracy Co-op

Opportunity Description: 

The Food Conspiracy Co-op was born in 1971. 

As the natural foods industry has blossomed in recent years, health food has become available at many other retailers in Tucson. Food Conspiracy, however, remains the city’s only full-service consumer cooperative. Because we are owned by our members, and beholden to them rather than to corporate interests, the quality and range of products we offer is unique in Tucson. We pride ourselves on our product quality, our excellent customer service, and our strong history as a cooperative business in Tucson. 

Along with a storefront, the Food Conspiracy Co-op includes Conspiracy Gardens and the Conspiracy Kitchen, both of which produce foods for sale in the store. The Co-op also produces a bimonthly newsletter educating community members of a number of topics from designing a vegetable garden to yoga as a community builder.

To learn more, visit the Food Conspiracy Co-op site (link:


Interns will work on 1-3 of these potential projects, depending on the interests of the student:

-Sustainability Analyst and Coordinator: This intern will assist the Co-op in measuring data for the Co+ Efficient Program to record the business’s use of energy, waste collection, and other indicators. Student will learn how run a business with specific measures to improve energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint. Determine how to make changes in daily energy use at the Co-op and involve staff and members in making changes in energy use by altering behavior.

-Author for Co-op Newsletter: Intern will investigate and write on topics to research and write for the Co-op newsletter Conspiracy News.  This work will involve research into a food-related topic for educational purposes.  The intern will learn to communicate effectively and present information in a readable, comprehensible manner.

- Conspiracy Garden Assistant: This internship will entailworking in the garden alongside the garden manager and depending on the interest of the student could be taking responsibility of
composting in the garden, introducing low water use technology and monitoring use of this technology such as implementing water ollas.  The student will learn how to develop a project, collect data in an experiment, and how to share what they have learned with others.

- Member Engagement Research Project: Answer the question: How does the Co-op engage members?  Possible projects: Design member garden work days, have members work outreach events, etc.  For example, the Food Conspiracy Co-op is owned by its members. Members can volunteer in the Conspiracy Garden, but have been limited to drop-in hours one day a week.  The intern can develop opportunities for engagement projects in the garden or in the community at outreach events.


412 N. 4th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705

Mentorship and Supervision: 

Kelly Watters will work most closely with the intern. There is no current UA employee or department that will function as a point of contact, but could be determined by the student.

Time Commitment: 

8 hours per week for one semester

Opportunity's Continuation: 

Check with the supervisor for internship's availability each semester. 

Engaged Learning Experience (ELE): 
Paid Position: 
How to apply: 

Send resume, cover letter, and contact information for 2 professional references to

For more information: 

Kelly Watters, 624-4821, 412 North 4th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85705

Engagement Category(s): 
Community Partnership
Creative Expression
Professional Development
Research Theme(s): 
Business and Economics
Climate and Adaptation
Food Systems and Security
Urban Environment