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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 JoomlaWorks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
My Co-op Story PDF Print E-mail

 by Elizabeth Pittman
March 2012

The first food co-op I belonged to was more of a produce-buying club. In 1970 Morningstar Cooperative members took turns going to the huge southeastern farmer’s market on the south side of Atlanta on Saturday mornings and buying bushels of cantaloupes, peaches, and more. Everything was divided that afternoon. What an improvement when Morningstar rented a storefront that had brief hours on two, then three days a week. Everything was sold out of boxes on makeshift board and concrete block shelving and the lighting was terrible.

Still living in Atlanta, I then joined the short-lived Stone Soup Cooperative that had real shelves and some products displayed out of the boxes they’d been transported in. Next I became a charter-working member of Sevananda Food Co-op. Now called Sevananda Natural Foods Market, it remains a food cooperative that’s worth visiting in its current Little Five Points location.
When traveling alone cross-country in 1977, people at the then tiny Boulder Co-op helped me find a friend I had no contact information for. I’ve belonged to Seeds of Life, a food cooperative in San Francisco’s Mission District, and to food-buying clubs in the mountains of north Georgia/North Carolina, in the west Georgia town of Carrollton, and in Wilmington, VT.
I joined the Flat Street version of our Brattleboro Food Co-op in 1983; my four-year-old son Shea and I enjoyed putting price stickers on grocery items, while my sister Jane was a volunteer cashier.

After several years away, tired of moving and not sure if returning to Brattleboro was the “right” thing for my family, the thought of returning to a town that had this Co-op comforted me. Given my prior co-op history, I was a little put off by the Co-op’s “fancy” new digs in its current location, but I soon felt at home. When I couldn’t find a job right away in my chosen field, I realized that working at the BFC would be a grounding, “meeting place” experience for me, and I met great people and learned a lot working for a year and a half in 1993-4 in produce and later the front end.  My husband Wesley, now retired, keeps up with our member worker hours and we truly feel part of, and love the food at, the Brattleboro Food Co-op.