Hunger Mountain Coop’s history is far-reaching and humble in its beginnings. The Coop began as a pre-order service in the late 60’s, when a group of neighbors joined together to buy bulk groceries. When the orders became large enough, the members voted to open a storefront in Plainfield. The Plainfield Co-op is still operated today. After a few years, it became apparent that the store was too small for the needs of all its members, so a storefront was opened as a separate operation in Montpelier. This was the birth of Hunger Mountain Coop as we know it today.
The first physical location was a brick building on the corner of Barre and Granite Street (this building has since been demolished). Shortly thereafter, The Coop moved to 403 Barre Street, and enjoyed steady community-supported growth before moving to its most recent location at 623 Stone Cutters Way in 1997. This building, nestled on the banks of the Winooski River, was expanded in 2008, bringing it to approximately 20,000 square feet, more than ten times the size of the original Montpelier location.
Today, Hunger Mountain Coop is supported by over 7,000 Member-Owners and employs 160 Vermonters. The Coop has enjoyed steady growth since 1972, experiencing over $21 million in sales annually. The Coop remains dedicated to its Mission of providing healthy and nutritious food to its Member-Owners and the surrounding community, and gives back thousands of dollars each year to local organizations, non-profits, schools and other groups.
On the shelves and along the aisles of The Coop, one can find over 1,800 Vermont products grown or value-added by over 250 Vermont vendors, and even more local products from our neighbors in New Hampshire, New York, and Canada. Hunger Mountain Coop has become a major educational resource for the Central Vermont community, offering a regular schedule of (mostly free) workshops on a variety of subjects, including nutrition, health and the environment. Hunger Mountain Coop also contributes to a wide variety of community events and programs including an annual Earth Day event on April 22nd, a Holiday Grocery Pack for families in need, and a widely attended Food and Wellness Expo in the fall, which sees several thousand attendees each year.
See what The Coop has in store for 2022 by reading The Coop's Ten-Year Vision!