History of the Brattleboro Food Co-op

The history of the Brattleboro Food Co-op began with a small buying club in 1975. You may remember its first longer-term home on Flat Street, where the Vermont Center for Photography is today. Or perhaps the market in the rear of the same lot as the current building which opened in 1988. After the extensive redevelopment project which opened in June of 2012, the Co-op is now a 14,580 square foot natural foods market and deli on the ground floor of a four-story building which also includes Co-op offices, a commissary kitchen, a cooking classroom, and 24 apartments, owned and managed by the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust.

This beautiful downtown anchor building is a result of a collaboration with the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust and Housing Vermont with many environmentally friendly features, including utilizing refrigeration waste heat to heat apartments and the store, solar panels on the roof, and much more.

The Brattleboro Food Co-op is community-owned, with over 8,000 active shareholders, and our goal is to be as accessible and responsive to you as possible. We strive to provide you with quality foods at reasonable prices, in a relaxed and friendly environment. Our staff is knowledgeable and eager to help shoppers in any way they can. This store is well-loved as a community meeting place, especially in the café, which happens to be right across the street from the Amtrak stop and at the foot of Main Street with great shops, an historic movie theatre and hotel, and more. Our Co-op features many collaborative programs with area non-profit partners, from special cooking classes and events to the famous Bag-a-Bean program (where you receive a fava bean to represent a donation to selected non-profits as thanks for re-using containers for bulk products). We are the go-to option for excellent prepared foods that meet any dietary requirements, and also boast a wide range of food choices in our aisles, along with a surprisingly endearing selection of housewares and gift items. We are located in southeastern Vermont, just over the Massachusetts and New Hampshire borders. Our community offers beautiful Vermont countryside, a lively cultural scene, and easy access to skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

In 2020, we will be celebrating forty-five years of strengthening our community through food and collaboration. Founding members’ children now serve on the Board of Directors, and some of their grandchildren are now employed at the Co-op. We are proud and humbled to have been such a presence in our downtown, and we look forward to a strong and bright future!

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