50th Anniversary

50th anniversary header

50th Anniversary
Celebrating 50 Years of Cooperation

Our co-op began in Plainfield as a pre-order service in the late 1960s when community members joined together to buy groceries and other things in bulk. Members began grouping themselves by neighborhood, with each group responsible for breaking orders down and distributing them to the individual members. Co-op neighborhoods also held potluck dinners and picnics. Known then as the Plainfield Co-op, the co-op was steadily growing. And because of that, it needed a more streamlined pre-ordering process and a more central location.

In 1972, the Co-op moved to Montpelier and became the Hunger Mountain Cooperative. However, a storefront didn't come until years later. After the move to Montpelier, some of the founders from the Co-op's early days came together to reopen a Plainfield-based co-op, which they named the Winooski Valley Cooperative Market. Eventually, it was renamed the Plainfield Co-op. The "new" Plainfield Co-op went on to rent the old Grange Hall, the former home of the original Plainfield Co-op, from Hunger Mountain Co-op. The Plainfield Co-op eventually bought the building for a nominal sum and opened their first storefront.

Hunger Mountain Co-op's first storefront was on the corner of Barre and Granite Streets in Montpelier, which is now a parking lot where Co-op employees park. Our second location was at 403 Barre Street, across from Sabin's Pasture and in the building that currently houses the Montpelier Veterinary Hospital. We enjoyed steady community-supported growth there before moving to our current location at 623 Stone Cutters Way in 1997.

Today, Hunger Mountain Co-op is thriving with over 10,000 member-owners, 185 employees, and nearly 400 local vendors. 2022 marks our 50th anniversary, with the Co-op's birthday on September 13.

In celebration of 50 years of cooperation, we encourage you, our Co-op Community, to submit stories, memories, and photos of the Co-op.

Need Inspiration?

Why not answer one or more of the following questions we've compiled?

  • What is an early Co-op memory?
  • Do you have a recent favorite Co-op memory?
  • Why did you join the Co-op? Has your perspective of the Co-op changed during this time?
  • Looking back, what is the most significant change/difference between the Co-op when you joined and the Co-op now?
  • Is there a product or specific thing about the Co-op that you have enjoyed since the beginning? Or is there something you miss?
  • What would you like the Co-op to be like ten years from now? What about 50 years from now?
  • Describe what the Co-op means to you in one sentence.
  • Describe what the Co-op means to you in one word.
  • Describe what the Co-op means to you in haiku form.

How Will Stories and Materials be Displayed?

By sending us your stories, photos, videos, etc., you are helping us document our co-op's history. Additionally, you are allowing Hunger Mountain Co-op to edit, upload, and publish submissions on printed in-store materials, in advertisements, on the hungermountain.coop website, as well as on social media platforms, including the Co-op's YouTube channel.

Submissions

Submit memories in four ways.

  1. Fill out the form below.
  2. Email memories, stories, and photos to info@hungermountain.coop. Include your first name and member number if applicable.
  3. Call (802) 262-3254 to leave an audio recording.
  4. Upload a video here. Be sure to include your name in the video.

Audio and Video Guidelines

  • Maximum audio and video recording time: 5 Minutes
  • Speak clearly and loudly. 
  • Include your first name and member number if applicable. 
  • Choose a quiet indoor setting for your audio recording with minimal background noise.
  • Choose a quiet, well-lit indoor setting for your video recording with minimal background noise.
  • Videos may be recorded on phone, tablet, pc, camera, or other recording device.
  • Accepted video file formats: WMV, AVI, MOV, MPEG
  • Record videos in landscape mode.