93. The History of the CFC, Bozeman

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Coop Name: Community Food Co-op N° of Employees: 150
City: Bozeman N° of Members: 16000
Country: United States Year of formation: 1979
Website: http://www.bozo.coop Twitter: Link
Facebook: Link
About this coop:

We are a natural foods cooperative, the largest in Montana, with over 15,000 member-owners. Open to members and public alike, we invite you to see all we have to offer including: a spectacular selection of fresh, organic produce, local and organic meats, fresh, environmentally acquired seafood, an extensive selection of organic, non-GMO and bulk groceries and specialty items, a complete wellness department, an onsite deli, bakery and coffee/juice bar, and a knowledgeable and helpful staff.

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The Community Food Co-op has come a long way from its humble beginnings on South Wallace Avenue in Bozeman, Montana. What was started by a few people on the fringe looking for a way to buy cheap rice has grown to a $15 million + business employing over 200 workers, with continual growth.

In 1979, a store named the Crossroads Food Center opened in a small house, structured as a nonprofit corporation. In the spring of 1984, the name was legally changed to the Community Food Co-op, and the store moved to a larger space near Montana State University.

In 1992, the Co-op bought a building in downtown Bozeman to better serve the needs of our growing membership. A deli was added and a departmental structure was created. In January 2002, the Co-op reorganized as a cooperative corporation. Later in 2002, a major expansion project was completed, doubling the retail space and adding a coffee, juice and dessert bar with an eating area upstairs.

April 2011 marked the opening of Co-op Downtown, our second retail outlet located in the heart of the Bozeman historic business district. Co-op Downtown is a small city market featuring an extensive deli. Offerings include a hot bar, daily soups, salad bar, grab ‘n go, and a sandwich counter. A convenient selection of grocery, baked goods and produce, with a seating area, round out the Co-op Downtown.

The Community Food Co-op is a huge success, nationally recognized and awarded, with double the sales per population base than most other natural food cooperatives in the country. The journey has been long but throughout it all, the Co-op has remained committed to the elements in the original 1979 mission statement: Emphasizing open, involved membership, environmental awareness, nutritional advocacy, support of local agriculture.

Author of this story
Wendy Westmoreland
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