Like many natural food co-ops, the Kootenay Co-op has, for the last three decades, led the way in promoting organic farming, local products, the advantages of buying bulk foods, the benefits of recycling and reducing waste and the buying power of consumers informed about the food they eat and the consequences of their choices.
It all began in the nineteen seventies. The Kootenay Co-op was incorporated on June 24, 1975. At the time the operation was known as the Vallican-Winlaw Food Co-operative and was run by volunteers as a food buying club in the Slocan Valley. In 1981, the members opened a small retail operation in the old school house in South Slocan, selling only to members. The Co-op was run on a break-even basis, and was staffed mainly by volunteers. Gross sales were approximately $150,000 per year.
In October of 1985, the Co-op acquired the assets of the Nelson Pantry House, a natural food store, and moved to 702 Baker Street in Nelson. Gross sales have since climbed from $273,500 in 1986 to more than $6,000,000 in our thirtieth year.
In July of 1991, the Co-op moved to our present location at 295 Baker Street, using two-thirds of the space it presently occupies. In April 2001, the Co-op further expanded in the present building, now occupying 4600 square feet of retail space. The Co-op is proud to offer its shoppers a continually expanding, unrivaled selection of natural foods, products and services.