It seems unthinkable that the People’s Republic of Berkeley has existed without a food co-operative for more than two decades.
Begun in the heart of the Depression, when families came together to form buying clubs so they could afford to put food on the table, the Consumer’s Cooperative of Berkeley was the place to shop for the politically correct for 51 years.
In its heyday in the 1970s, the store was a national leader in championing organics, whole grains, preservative-free foods, and meat alternatives. During the boycott of non-union vineyards in the 1980s some members boasted their children had never eaten grapes.
The last store closed in 1988, a victim of partisan infighting, financial woes, and changing times: the co-op still dispensed tofu puffs and six kinds of sprouts but refused to carry radicchio, according to the New York Times.
Well, don’t choke on your non-GMO, organic, fair trade, soymilk chai latte: The co-op is coming back to Berkeley. Read more