The Alberta Coop started as a buyer's cooperative in the late 90's by a group of community minded visionaries who realized NE Portland needed it's own coop. Many of the early members were supporters and members of either Food Front or People's but those stores were too far away. The members started as a buyer's club with the long term vision to open a store in NE Portland.
In 2001, the Coop leased its current retail space and opened its doors. The first few years were a challenge but I believe the Coop is in good financial and operational health.
I love shopping there because the staff and working members are friendly and helpful, the produce, food and products are locally sourced whenever possible and I can shop the entire store quickly. It is such a relief to not have to wade through 10-50,000 square feet of grocery store. Alberta Coop has everything I need in its 5 aisles. On top of that, it is owned by the community.
Prices are fair, especially when you buy in bulk. You can shop really cheaply if you purchase most of your food in bulk. I am always amazed how many pounds of food I get for so little money when I buy in bulk.
If you haven't visited, stop on by. Memberships are $180 lifetime and they have several payment plan options. Members currently receive a 2% discount while working members get 15%.