Ambrosia Cooperative House

Last updated: November 9, 2010 (5 years ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Ambrosia Cooperative House

(Madison, Wisconsin, United States)

Mission Statement:

Housing, Food, Family-Friendly

Community Description:

We enjoy a beautiful lakefront vista, often taking meals on one of our three lake-facing porches or on our pier.

We are a great place for families. Kids 12 and under eat free. We have a large indoor playroom and an outdoor swing set. Childcare is rarely hard to find.

We emphasize a socially conscious kitchen, mostly organic and local when possible.

Call us or come by to find out more about our delicious vegetarian/vegan, often ethnic, sometimes omnivorous, meals. Yum.

Food co-opers pay $95 per month and do work in the house. Food co-opers enjoy all of the food privileges of a full membership; they eat at every house meal and help themselves in the kitchen whenever they like.

About Ambrosia: We are a group of about 30 adults and children, living “The Life” together in this beautiful house. Not only do we immensely enjoy our lake-fronted-ness (swimming, canoeing, having bonfires on shore, eating on the pier, etc.), but we often enjoy one another’s company in our spacious and colorful kitchen as well.

Ambrosia is the latest cooperative incarnation to appear in this huge house on the shores of Lake Mendota. The co-op was founded in August of 2004, and our lakeside mansion has 27 rooms, five bathrooms, a music room, a sauna, an office, a kids’ playroom, three porches, and a dock on the lake. We aim to be a family friendly house, which means we reserve certain larger rooms for members with children and we aim to create an environment where children can thrive. We are a diverse group of people coming from many different walks of life, but united in our effort to make this house a great place for everyone to live.

We are a part of Madison Community Cooperative (MCC), which includes 11 houses and has over 200 members, and we share their vision of encouraging community interest in affordable housing alternatives.



  • Area: 0.5 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 1
  • Land owned by: Another form of Non-profit
  • Additional Comments: MCC owns the land and holds the deed to the house


  • Adult Members: 27
  • Child Members: 2
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: We’d love if you’d come by. We have dinner every week day at 6:00 p.m., so give us a call to let us know you are coming. To become a member you must attend three meals and then have a membership meeting.
  • Open to new Members: Yes


  • Decision Making: Other
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments: modified consensus (decisions canbe objected to, but objections can be overturned next meeting by majority vote.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments: We require approx. 6 hrs/week

    $40 = MCC membership fee, $36 = NASCO membership fee

    MCC + house + food charges

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%


  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments: Al

    Dinners are almost always vegetarian.

  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling

Additional Comments

We are in downtown Madison, a few block from the Capital.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Madison Community Cooperatives

Community Affiliations

Madison Community Cooperative (MCC), Avalon Cooperative House, The Phoenix Cooperative House, Sofia Cooperative House, Syntropy Cooperative House, Ofek Shalom Cooperative House, Lothlórien Cooperative House, Hypatia Cooperative House, Friends’ Cooperative House, Audre Lorde Cooperative House, International Cooperative House (ICH)

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.