History

1998: An Idea

The Coop was initiated by a group of seven NDG residents.  They first met in 1998 to discuss ways for residents of NDG to become more self-reliant.  They were all driven by the same passion and convictions:

* The need to create alternatives to the North American consumption mode.

* The desire to breathe new life into the neighborhood.

* The need to boost local trade.

* The desire to reinforce the decision-making power of the consumers by diversifying the products and services and by providing more information regarding the products available on the market.

The co-founders of the Coop got together following an important event of Quebec’s history:  the 1998 ice storm and the collapse of Hydro-Québec power network.  This event made them realize how energy dependent citizens were and gave them a different insight of their community since when they started to walk the streets of their neighborhood to help the ones in need they were struck by the number of isolated and lonely people.  They were shocked and moved to realize that in their relatively well-off neighborhood, some people were isolated and vulnerable.  This observation highlighted the individualism and the weak social links existing in the community. 

2000: Year 2000: A coop store, the property of all

That is how the Coop slowly took shape.  The co-founders favored the cooperative structure because it allowed them and the future members of the organization to participate in its decision-making.  This was very important to them.   They also wished to promote accessibility to local products thus ensuring local economical development and reducing the harmful effects related to the transportation of products coming from far away.  Furthermore, the co-founders wanted to create a place where people could discuss and exchange on environmental and sustainable development subjects.  Finally, the co-founders dreamed of making of their store a dynamic community store where people could meet as friends and neighbors.

The new Coop was incorporated as a solidarity cooperative with the ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce du Québec.  It was the very first environmental solidarity cooperative in Canada.  Indeed, most of North American cities now have one or more stores dedicated to green products, but none of them is run as a cooperative.

Initially, the Coop was financed by its co-founders and some 200 citizens, the first members of the Cooperative who believed in this project.  They then received a subsidy from CDN/NDG CDEC, a body dedicated to local economical development and with this subsidy, the Coop was able to start its operations.

During the summer of year 2000, the project became a reality.  Some of the co-founders renovated the store while others went in search of suppliers and worked with local medias to announce the Coop store would soon open.    The Coop received support from local organizations like the magazine La Maison du 21e siècle and Éco-Initiatives.

The Coop officially opened its doors on November 25, 2000.  There was music, food and more than 300 participants.  The general public discovered the wide variety of products and services finally available in their brand new local store.

2000: Year 2000: A coop store, the property of all

Year 2000: A coop store, the property of all 

That is how the Coop slowly took shape.  The co-founders favored the cooperative structure because it allowed them and the future members of the organization to participate in its decision-making.  This was very important to them.   They also wished to promote accessibility to local products thus ensuring local economical development and reducing the harmful effects related to the transportation of products coming from far away.  Furthermore, the co-founders wanted to create a place where people could discuss and exchange on environmental and sustainable development subjects.  Finally, the co-founders dreamed of making of their store a dynamic community store where people could meet as friends and neighbors.

The new Coop was incorporated as a solidarity cooperative with the ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce du Québec.  It was the very first environmental solidarity cooperative in Canada.  Indeed, most of North American cities now have one or more stores dedicated to green products, but none of them is run as a cooperative.

Initially, the Coop was financed by its co-founders and some 200 citizens, the first members of the Cooperative who believed in this project.  They then received a subsidy from CDN/NDG CDEC, a body dedicated to local economical development and with this subsidy, the Coop was able to start its operations.

During the summer of year 2000, the project became a reality.  Some of the co-founders renovated the store while others went in search of suppliers and worked with local medias to announce the Coop store would soon open.    The Coop received support from local organizations like the magazine La Maison du 21e siècle and Éco-Initiatives.

The Coop officially opened its doors on November 25, 2000.  There was music, food and more than 300 participants.  The general public discovered the wide variety of products and services finally available in their brand new local store.

2002 - 2003: More membership

A few months after its opening, the Coop substantially increased its membership.  People were very enthusiastic about the Coop and their strong interest, sought for but unexpected, confirmed the real need for people to see things change toward a more ethical way of life.

More and more partnerships were built with local bodies sharing the Coop values.  The Coop became a delivery point for many local farmers and a community space for those wishing to promote a healthier and more sustainable way of life.  Over the years, the Coop worked with Équiterre, the Éco‑quartiers, the NDG Food Depot, Action Communiterre, the NDG Community Council and many other local institutions.  It also helped numerous worker and solidarity cooperatives dedicated to environmental and food issues on the outskirts of Montreal.

2010: Owner of our building

Thanks to the support of many members and partners, the Coop was finally able to become the proud owner of the building where it has its store.  There is no doubt no more.  The Coop is here to stay, deeply rooted in NDG.

Members of the Coop have always believed that food security was at the core of the Coop’s mandate.  In 2010, dairy products, meet, bulk products and all kinds of basic food stuffs were introduced in the store.  If we add to that the organic food markets run by local farmers all year round, the Coop truly became a local grocery store.  A dream come true.

Today, the Coop has more than 9,700 members and unquestionably is one of the more dynamic store on Sherbrook street West.  Its regular staff continues to work hard, strongly supported the members, the customers and the general public, keeping this solidarity cooperative alive in NDG and offering a wide range of products and services that correspond to the needs of those who wish to adopt or have already adopted responsible and sustainable practices.

2015: The co-op continues its road

Today, the Coop has more than 10 300 members and is unquestionably one of the more dynamic stores on Sherbrook street West.  Its regular staff continues to work hard, strongly supported by the members, the customers and the general public, keeping this solidarity cooperative alive in NDG and offering a wide range of products and services that correspond to the needs of those who wish to adopt or have already adopted responsible and sustainable practices.