We've always put kitchen tables ahead of boardroom tables. Local farmers and ranchers opened our first store in Calgary over 65 years ago.
Calgary Co-op has been serving Calgarians since 1956 when we opened our first store with local farmers and ranchers selling fresh, farm-to-table foods—even before farm-to-table was a buzzword. Based here in Calgary, we prefer to source as much of our food as possible from Calgary, across Alberta and throughout western Canada.
We want our members to feel good about choosing our fresh, local products. Part of that is getting to know the people who produce them and the places they come from. That’s why our local selection is always growing. We also you to have the highest-quality local products at the lowest possible price.
National chains answer to a head office. We answer to you. To us, local isn’t just another trend: it’s a promise requiring dedication, long-term investment and commitment. We think it’s well worth it. Which is why we’ll continue to serve Calgarians with local fresh Food, Pharmacy, Fuel, Wine Spirits Beer, Cannabis and Home Health Care, in the years to come.
Members of the Calgary Co-op adopted principles of management modelled after the British Rochdale Co-op which was established in 1844 and is noted as the first modern co-operative. Rochdale Co-op’s founding principles remain at the heart of Calgary co-op today.
Those founding principles are:
Owned by members, Calgary Co-op is now one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. Our locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore include: food stores, pharmacies, gas stations, car washes, home health care centres, wine, spirits and beer locations, cannabis, Community Natural Foods, Beacon Pharmacy, Organic Box and Willow Park Wines & Spirits.
With over 440,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of $627 million and annual sales of $1.2 billion, Calgary Co-op has been recognized as one of Alberta’s Top 75 Employers for several years in a row and is committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience through inspired team members.
Back in the mid-1950’s, Calgary Co-op was just getting started; the first store opened downtown on November 15, 1956 with a small but enthusiastic grand opening celebration. Founded by farmers, ranchers, and food producers banding together to sell their wares to a dedicated membership of local buyers, Calgary Co-op is truly the original “local” grocery store.
The idea behind membership in a grocery co-operative like Calgary Co-op was to allow members to own and have an interest in the success of the store—and a say in the products it carries. Members have a financial interest in the success of the cooperative (often through receiving monetary returns based on the frequency of shopping and spending) and in turn they support its success by shopping there.
The grand opening of “store number one,” was held on November 15, 1956, and despite the success and elation at their entrepreneurial venture, it was a small affair. While the local press declined to cover it, Calgary‘s then-mayor Don MacKay was there to cut a ribbon, and the 1000th member joined on that very day in November.
By 1958 membership had climbed to 3,350 and Calgary Co-op purchased the land next to the downtown centre for a service station. In 1960 Calgary Co-op had opened its second store, the North Hill Centre on 16th Ave. NE. Membership grew to 5,525, sales reached $2 million, and that time the staff numbered 115. Soon after, more new stores opened including the McLeod Trail Centre (1963), and Brentwood Centre (1965). Membership climbed to 23,038.
Gordon Barker probably says it best: “Calgary Co-op was formed by ordinary people who wanted a business they could rely on when others failed to provide them with the services they needed. We must never lose sight of why Calgary Co-op was formed: to serve its members and to be a contributing partner in the community.”
Members representing members: the Directors of our Board are members just like you. There are three officers of the Board: Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary. Board appointment of officers, committees and representatives takes place each year following the Annual General Meeting.Meet your Board
Investing in the communities where you, our members and employees, live and work. Meet the people responsible for our strong direction and leadership.Meet the team
At Calgary Co-op committees form the backbone of our governance model. The Audit, Governance, Human Resources, and Nominations Committees all provide oversight to the Board’s most complex areas.Learn about committees
The share you purchase when you join Calgary Co-op allows you to participate in the “one member-one vote” democratic process to nominate, vote and actively participate in the meetings and elections of members… because our members are our owners.Get involved in your Calgary Co-op
Each year Calgary Co-op holds its annual meeting of members. Members are presented with the past year’s financial statements, the results of the director election and any special business requiring member approval. Management provides an overview of the co-operative’s past performance and future strategy.Learn about our AGM