After beginning as a buyers' club in 1997, the Alberta Cooperative Grocery opened on July 7, 2001 on the corner of Northeast 15th Avenue and Alberta Street. Over 200 founding members and numerous member-loaners helped to finance the store.
The store recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a parking lot party.
The Alberta Co-op's mission is to serve as a community resource and provide fresh, affordable food to the neighborhood. The store has grown from sales of around $950,000 in its first year to over $1.35 million in 2005. So far in 2006, the store has experienced sales growth of over 16 percent. Alberta is one of over 300 thriving grocery cooperatives in the United States and is part of the first strong wave of new stores since the 1970s.
The National Cooperative Bank and others are piloting a "Co-op 500" program, which aims to help develop 200 new grocery cooperatives by 2015, bringing the U.S. total to 500.