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Why "Growing Community Together"?

In November of 2017, Harmony initiated a Core Messaging Committee that was tasked to discover the message that we want to share with the community in 2018 - a message that would resonate in everything that we do. The committee kept circling around three words that meant a lot to us: Growth. Community. Inclusivity. When seeking Harmony's 2018 shareable and relate-able message with the lens that growth, community and inclusivity provided, we identified our 2018 core message of Growing Community Together. 


The cooperative business model highlights community ownership. We currently have over 2500 community investors and we wouldn't be here without them. We want to celebrate the impact that our community has on our local, regional, and global communities.  Right now, the products that Harmony Co-op is sharing with our community are combating climate change by providing funds to the Co+op Forest in Peruhelping build schools in Africaproviding stable jobs and maternal care for women around the world, and even keeping money flowing to the many local farmers who live in our community. 

Communities that Grow Together,
Thrive Together

As the only downtown grocery store in Bemidji, we always work to remain cognizant of our role here both for the community and within it—we aim to truly embody the principle that “everyone is welcome”. We are always looking to expand our product selection, both for specialty diets and for our Co-op Basics program (making organic healthy food affordable for everyone) and other regular sales. Our department managers attend regular conferences where co-ops across the country can meet and exchange knowledge, information, and tips. Harmony Co-op Explorers is free for all kids 12 and under and meets every month for crafts, activities, tours and more; the instructors in our education program are local chefs, farmers, teachers, and owners who enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences. As Bemidji has grown from a small northern town into a bustling little city and regional hub, Harmony has grown with it—and as our community marches further into the next century, with all the growth, challenges, and changes it brings, we are proud to be a central part of it—in every sense of the word.


In January 2014, Harmony created a Sustainability Committee. The committee is charged by the General Manager to provide oversight and strategic guidance in Harmony’s commitment to sustainability as stated in Harmony’s 2nd ends statement “Harmony strives to promote and restore healthful, sustainable, environmental practices.” The purpose of our Sustainability Committee is to provide strategic planning, recommendation, education outreach, and measurable oversight of Harmony’s sustainable business practices in regards to Products we carry, Energy & Water Usage, Waste Reduction, and Business engagement with the local economy.


Becoming an owner of Harmony Co-op is easy and represents an investment in a community owned business that is grounded in local commerce and sustainable sourcing. The owner’s primary function is to participate in the ownership, decisions and patronage of the cooperative so that it effectively meets the needs of the cooperative body. As in any worthwhile organization, the benefits enjoyed by cooperative members are directly proportional to their participation and involvement. Further, an investment in Harmony Co-op is an invest in local commerce, global awareness, and sustainable living. 


Click here to learn more about becoming a Harmony Co-op Owner.

Build Your Business in our Communiy Kitchen

Community Kitchen


Harmony Food Coop’s Community Kitchen is a state-certified commercial kitchen facility available for lease everyday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to all community members, community organizations and business groups, food processing entrepreneurs and institutional users. Successful entrepreneurs who started in our kitchen:

  • Bemidji Brewing Company 

  • Cake Bemidji

The Community Kitchen grows community through business incubation for entrepreneurs looking to produce value-added, retail products. 

 Click here to learn more about Harmony's Community Kitchen.

Harmony's 4th Annual Local Growers Summit

The Local Connection

Are you a community member looking for a particular product and want to buy it locally? Post your request here! Are you a local farmer who wants to sell your extra rutabaga or parcel? Post what you have here! May this group act as a point of connection between our community and our local farmers.We are glad to facilitate The Local Connection.  


Click here to view Harmony's database of local growers and producers.

Click here to join The Local Connection Facebook group.

End Statements

“We have end statements that drive our ‘how’ and ‘why’ we grow. They are really value-orientated and are about putting value back into the local economy.” -- Colleen Bakken, GM

Our Ends

  • Harmony Coop supports vibrant local commerce in the community with retail business to provide an outlet for local growers and producers.

  • Harmony Coop strives to promote and restore healthful, sustainable and environmental practices.

  • Harmony Coop provides and promotes healthy eating options in the store and deli for its customers.

  • Harmony Coop provides our community with educational opportunities about the benefits of locally and organically-sourced products, cooperative principles and nutritious eating.

  • Harmony Coop actively engages staff in the organization’s decision making process, and provides them with a competitive compensation package.

Further Reading

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Harmony Co-op:
44 Years of Community

by Kate Egelhof

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The Value and Necessity of Supporting Local & Regional Businesses
by Lisa Weiskopf
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Ten Years Here: Harmony's Anniversary
by Kate Egelhof
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