About the Co-op
In 1973 four households living on farms in the area combined their efforts to get economical, whole food. Initially, they had to travel to Minneapolis, MN in order to get the kinds of foods they were looking for. Friends became interested and a buying club quickly emerged, providing food to several households. By December 1973 a storefront had opened, and the East Dakotah Cooperative was born. Several locations (and a name change) later, the Co-op Natural Foods is now a fixture in the Sioux Falls community with over 1700 members!
The Co-op Natural Foods is a locally owned, locally controlled small grocery store. Our mission is to provide high quality foods in the most environmentally friendly and cost efficient way possible. We are committed to providing products grown and prepared in an environmentally responsible way. That means supporting local and organic producers as much as possible.
Buying locally is one of the easiest ways to help the environment and your community. It dramatically cuts down on the number of miles your food has traveled and helps support the local economy. Plus, locally produced food just tastes better! The Co-op currently carries products from over 30 local suppliers and is always looking to add more.
Whenever possible, the Co-op offers certified organic products. In the US, “certified organic” means that a manufacturer’s products meet strictly defined organic standards set by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). Organic farming eliminates many of the harmful chemicals that don't just pollute the food that we eat, but can leak into our water supply and contaminate the air that we breathe. Organic methods are just more environmentally friendly all around. There have also been no genetic modifications to any products that are listed as Certified Organic. Just look for the seal.
A Co-op is a cooperative business owned by its customers (in our case, members) for their mutual benefit. There are many different types of co-ops, such as health care, insurance, housing, agricultural, utility and credit unions. The major difference between consumers' cooperatives and other forms of business is that the purpose of a consumers' cooperative association is to provide quality goods and services at the lowest cost to the consumer/owners rather than to sell goods and services at the highest price above cost that the consumer is willing to pay. So how does that translate into what we do here at The Co-op Natural Foods? Well, it means that we provide the type of products you want for the lowest price possible. We are here to serve you and not the bottom line! For more information, check out the seven Co-op Principles.