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  • Writer's pictureHarmony Coop

Harmony Co-op: 46 Years of Community

Harmony Co-op is celebrating our 46th anniversary this month! From humble beginnings as a buyers’ bulk co-operative in a basement to a small downtown storefront and now a full-service grocery and health store with a thriving outreach program, Harmony has certainly come a long way. We're celebrating this year in a few different ways - but what we're really celebrating is our owners, all of you who have chosen to make the investment in not just your local grocery store, but your community as a whole.

We began as a bulk ordering group in 1976, evolving into the Harmony Cooperative Grocery in the spring of 1977, and arrived downtown as the Harmony Natural Foods Co-op in 1991. From those humble beginnings, we evolved to a full-sized grocery, arriving in our current Irvine Avenue location in 2011, where we boast such amenities as a fully-certified commercial kitchen where we can now help other small local businesses succeed (like Bemidji Brewing, which began here and now has a standalone brewpub).

As a cooperative, Harmony has always been committed to putting people and our planet first.

Being an owner of Harmony Co-op means you’ve invested in a business committed to whole foods, our community, local farmers & producers, the cooperative principles and our environment. It also means that you receive special benefits! See a full list here, but some highlights include:

  • Receive four 10% off discount coupons (each saving up to $6) for in-store purchases per year.

  • Owners who are seniors (65 and up) receive 5% off EVERY DAY on in-store purchases.

  • Receive exclusive sale offers and giveaways.

While being an owner gives you personal benefits, what does being an owner mean in the community?

  • It means supporting the work of local organizations (like Merry Gardens and Bar Bell Bee Ranch) that are dedicated to making a better world for us all. When you buy local products, more money stays in your local community, making it more economically resilient and sustainable. Co-op shoppers support local entrepreneurs and small businesses and make a difference!

  • Harmony Co-op is working to honor & support Indigenous nations, communities & cultures in ways beyond signage. We offer local products from Native American-owned and operated businesses, such as Red Lake Nation Fishery & Red Lake Nation Foods

  • Our Education Classes were a huge hit this year! We will be taking a break for the summer but join us for our Harmony Co-op Classes this fall. Discover new recipes and techniques in our state-certified Community Kitchen, and join a community of foodies who share your passion for cooking.

As much fun as we're having looking back over our last 46 years, we're even more excited to look forward into the future! We want to invite you to our Annual Owner Meeting on April 23rd. Your input and feedback are essential to the continued success and growth of the co-op. Attending this meeting will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the co-op’s initiatives, accomplishments, and future. We're so grateful and fortunate to be a part of the greater Bemidji community, and we can't wait to continue celebrating with you for years to come!

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