About the Coop
In 1973 four households living on farms in the area combined their efforts to get economical, whole foods. Initially, they had to travel to Minneapolis, MN in order to get the kinds of foods they were looking for. More and more 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!
Originally located in Downtown Sioux Falls, the Co-op had hopped around to various locations around Sioux Falls before purchasing its then permanent home on Duluth Ave in 2005, and experienced great growth at that location. A turning point in the Co-op's longstanding history came on January 19, 2014 when the store on Duluth Ave experienced a devastating fire as a result of theft and arson. The fire, however, didn't break the Co-op's determination and sense of mission. Less than 3 months after the fire, the Co-op re-opened in a temporary location on the corner of 18th and Minnesota Ave., and began searching and planning for a permanent home. Little did we know that our temporary location would become our permanent home. After much research, debate, planning and assistance from the NCG's Development Cooperative, and a market research study, it became clear that the temporary location was destined to become our permanent home.
The Co-op looked to its members to raise a portion of the funds necessary to remodel and rebuild. An aggressive $350,000 member loan goal was set and our members responded, exceeding the goal and raising well over $500,000 in member loans ensuring that the project would be completed and the new-store would open. The new permanent store is set to celebrate its grand opening on November 14, 2015.
Several locations (and a name change) later, the Co-op Natural Foods is now a fixture in the Sioux Falls community with almost 3,000 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.