On Valentine’s Day, the Ashland Food Co-op turns 45 years old.
It’s hard to imagine we’ve been providing healthy, organic food to the Rogue Valley for almost half a century. From our humble beginnings as the Ashland Community Food Store to now a thriving Co-op with over 10,000 owners, it has been an honor to serve this community.
Let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane and see how far we’ve come in 45 years.
1971 A small group of Ashland families joined together to form a food buying club.
1972 Membership grew rapidly and within a year’s time, a store front opened on North Main to accommodate the demand.
Mid 70s Business grew and soon a larger store was needed and operations moved to a larger location on 3rd and Lithia Way, currently the Ashland Outdoor Store.
Mid 80s The volunteer labor that helped shape the Co-op was phased out and replaced by paid staff to meet the growing needs of the store.
1987 The first General Manager was hired.
1988 The store was extensively remodeled by expanding retail, office and warehouse space. A community room was also added which was available at low or no cost for community sponsored events and classes.
1990s The store was thriving! But the staff of 50+ people and the space could barely keep up with the demands.
1993 In April, we broke ground on our current location and in November we opened the doors.
2002 The 4500 square feet addition was completed that now houses our Deli, Produce and Meat departments.
2003 After many years of debate, research and surveys, we made the full transition from the Ashland Community Food Store to the Ashland Food Co-op. On January 1st, 2003, we re-incorporated as a cooperative enterprise and began taking memberships in our newly formed co-op.
Today 10,000 owners strong and growing!
In celebration of our 45 year milestone, we invite you to join us for free birthday cake on February 14th from 1pm - 4pm at the Tasting Kiosk. Additionally, we’ll be offering special, “45”-centric birthday sales on some of your favorite foods and products all month long.
Throughout this anniversary year we will be refreshing our brand and launching a new, beautiful logo to take us into the next decade. We look forward to celebrating our history and contributions to the Ashland, and greater Rogue Valley, community throughout the whole year.
Stay tuned for more birthday and new brand celebrations!