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North Central Co-op:
More than Meets the Eye

From the outside, the new shiny Co-op that just opened off Ray Gibbon Drive looks like any other business. But what most are surprise to learn is that’s member-owned.

That’s right. It’s owned by the very people that purchase its products and services.

Whether you realize it or not, North Central Co-op has a far-reaching impact in your community. Let’s take a closer look at why this is and learn more about the role of Co-op in your area, and the new Riverside location.

In a co-op, every member has equal decision-making power, following the principle of "one member, one vote." This means that regardless of the amount of money invested, each member has an equal say in important decisions that shape the co-op's direction. Co-ops share profits, based on how much each member utilizes the business' goods or services. Instead of allocating profits to shareholders based on ownership stakes, co-ops focus on rewarding members in proportion to their usage. This approach ensures that those who actively support and contribute to the co-op benefit the most from its financial success. Meanwhile, everyone benefits from the community focus, year-round.

“We are as local as you can get!” smiles Kris Larsen, Director of Operations for Food, Pharmacy & Liquor. “Our administration office is in Stony Plain. When you call us, you get a team member who lives and works in your community. Our co-op was started over 75 years ago when a few farmers came together to pool their buying power. Now we have over 100,000 members.”

Larsen continues, “We are proud to be early pioneers of the local vendor program that has now been adopted widely by most grocery retail chains. When sourcing, we look at entrepreneurs in our direct trading area.”

A great example of what he calls a “local hyperfocus” is the recent signing on of the flour mill, Yourco.

“Back in the day we had a fuel contract with the Yourco farm,” says Larsen. “Not only do we now carry Yourco products, today our Riverside Co-op sits on the land Yourco once farmed!”

Riverside’s grand opening is on September 23 at 11:00 am. The event will include a quad giveaway purchased at Riverside Honda, a 60-second shopping spree, kid shopping sprees, a barbecue in the afternoon, and much more. Keep an eye on North Central Co-ops flyers and social media for details and to learn about how getting a “golden ticket” can really pay off if you are a winner in attendance at the grand opening event.

The new Riverside location will include everything North Central Co-op stores are known and loved for, along with a few fresh updates to meet customer needs.

Larsen explains, “Expect our focus on fresh, quality, and great service. We have dry-aged beef as a premium product that is cut by our in-store butchers. We have hot meals ready to eat and a wonderful custom cake program. Our pharmacists can prescribe and fill on site. We have a nostalgic candy and beverage selection.”

Co-op is also proud to have lottery available at every till. This is thanks to a partnership with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

“Check your ticket faster and discreetly,” smiles Larsen. “This also allows you to purchase lottery tickets at the till while checking out, instead of waiting in line at a kiosk.”

North Central Co-op is very proud to be a strong community supporter for charitable events and non-profit organizations. From the Christmas Bureau to local food banks, from sponsoring Taste of Edmonton to partnerships with Rotary Clubs’ fundraising efforts, Co-op is very actively involved. Co-op Community Spaces are another way Co-op gives back. To date, Spaces has funded five major projects, including lighting for a community rink in St. Albert.

North Central Co-op is a retailer that operates as a co-operative, with stores supporting St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton, Legal, Sherwood Park, and Edson.

Visit any location to feel the difference and learn more about why membership in the co-operative provides many benefits for you, and for your local community. Learn more online at North Central Co-op and on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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