In 1975 a young couple bought a small grocery store on Wolcott Street in Hardwick, lived upstairs, gathered together other visionary folks, and started the Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op downstairs. That November, the co-op opened. The name of Buffalo Mountain was taken from the large buffalo-shaped mountain just south of town, representing the connection to this local region. Since that time, many people have given generously of their time, effort, and money to help the co-op grow, thrive and serve our community more fully. We have moved twice (link to Cooperative Grocer Story about our latest move), and are now fortunate to be located centrally on Main Street, as an anchor to Hardwick’s downtown. Many years later our co-op still remains committed to our community and our ideals.
Buffalo Mountain Food Co-op is a not-for-profit corporation owned by its members and collectively managed by a paid staff and a member-elected board of directors. We are affiliated with other food co-ops throughout the New England area, yet we are completely owned and operated locally. Our purpose is to provide whole foods and other products, which are grown or made with the health and well-being or our planet and its inhabitants in mind. We are committed to making these items available at as low a cost as possible by involving members directly in the daily workings of the store. We follow the basic co-op principles of open and voluntary membership, democratic member control, education of ourselves and the community, support of other co-operatives, concern for a greater community, and reinvestment of surplus to our members and community. In addition to the high quality of our products and lower prices, we serve as a vital community-meeting place for members who live scattered throughout northeastern Vermont. The non-food items we carry are selected for quality, utility, and beauty. Many of the gift items in the store are produced by craftspeople locally and in third world countries, often by other working co-operatives.
We provide food for all people, not for profit.
The purpose of the Buffalo Mountain Food Cooperative is to develop within its area of influence a community-owned and operated, health-oriented, thriving enterprise;
- To continually educate the community as a whole in regard to food politics, health issues, and our social-cultural activities;
- To demonstrate alternative approaches to structuring our work environment so that it is more decent and compassionate;
- To offer healthy, pro-active choices and
- To open our doors to, and develop all aspects of our community.
Values and Goals
- To integrate and support local, sustainable enterprises, in particular small-scale organic farming
- To promote fair business practices, starting at the Co-op
- To have an inviting, expanding, educational atmosphere that promotes community and cultural interaction
- To provide healthy food choices at sustainable prices, and to be vigilant and informed as to the economic and political impact of those choices
- To be a leader in promoting health-education in all venues available to us: personal, political, and global
- To welcome all people without cultural, economic, racial, or moral bias
- To view ourselves as not only selling food but offering health, not only developing our store but the whole community