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East Lansing Food Co-op records

Identifier: MSS 592 large


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Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored off site. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact MSU Libraries Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

The East Lansing Food Co-op started in 1976 as a buying club for local people who wanted healthy and organic food. Soon after, it opened a cooperatively-owned grocery storefront in East Lansing. Over the years, it has expanded into a store that is owned by over 2200 people in the community. With a mission to provide access to healthy foods to the community while helping build the area's economy by buying primarily local produce and other products, supporting environmental sustainability and social justice by buying organic, fairly traded food and products. (directly quoted from unmarked store display) equally owned by all of its members, with each member getting equal votes. Incorporated by 30 members from the Oakhill neighborhood in East Lansing in 1976. Originally called "Food of Our desire Co-Operative, Inc." since grown to a membership of 6000 (no date provided). 211 Evergreen Street. loans, volunteered hours. member of Michigan Federation of Food Co-ops. bulk food, serve service slogan "Food for people - Not for profit" Originally modeled after the Rochdale Weavers Co-op, founded in Rochdale, England, in 1844 by textile workers. A growing concern about the quality and economics of food spurred consumers to start co-ops as a way to have more control over what they were getting. Original storefront on Evergreen St. in East Lansing, serving the MSU student market with inexpensive health food. Within two years, it grew into a store on W. Grand River, still serving the University as the primary market. In 1980, they opened a second concurrant larger location to serve the suburban market including Okemos and Haslett on 4960 Northwind drive in East Lansing, where they remained until closing that location in 2017. In 1987, the campus location closes due to dwindling interest in co-ops and financial losses.


4.2 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by representatives of the ELFCO board in 2017.

Processing Information

This collection is currently in process. Please contact Special Collections for access at this time.
Finding Aid for the East Lansing Food Co-op records
Lydia Tang
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48824 USA