Sunday, September 17, 2006

Potsdam NY Food Co-Op, Annual Open House

33 years ago, the Potsdam Food Co-Op opened it's doors. My parents were early members. I remember re-packaging bulk foods and slicing cheese as a kid. This year's annual open house was a big success. Soap Samples from Sunfeather, bread from the Co-Op owned woodfired oven bakery, healthy soda alternatives made with juice. Homemade icecream and applecider, stew and salad, all made with organic food from the co-op. The live music was good, the rain held off, and the temps were in the mid 70's. Hazy and overcast, it was a lot of fun for the whole family.

3 Comments:

Blogger Will said...

It's heartening to read about the Potsdam Food Coop and it's long successful run.
Since it has been mentioned here, I'd like to share a tiny bit of it's very first days.

There had been numerous efforts and discussions during the late 1960s and early 1970s about starting a
food co-op but initially the discussions were mostly among college folks. It wasn't until the idea took hold
with folks who were NOT college students/professors that the actualy effort began. A group of us, savvy to
promoting things, gathered together, gave ourselves a catchy name [the "North Country Community Life Council"]
sent articles to the Courier Freeman, the Clarkson and SUCP student papers and the Watertown Press.

The arly members included folks from Potsdam, West Potsdam, Norwood, Norfolk, Raymondville, Canton,
Hannawa Falls, Colton, Parishville and [if my memory serves me well] Hopkinton and Nicholville.

Given that the first actual exchange of goods took place in my living room, then in a small apartment on the
second floor of a building on Maple Street [when that section was stil Route 11], in many ways I've always
felt the Co-op as literally one of my children. Items exchanged were unpasturized milk, fresh churned butter, eggs,
fresh vegatables, home made jams and snacks and sandwiches.

After one time there the co-op quickly moved to another member's home meeting weekly until it outgrew that space.
Form there it moved again to Maple Street, across from the new Dunkin Donuts [itself a place built on the
destroyed foundation of a hunge mill building on the west side of the Racquette River.
The new place took over a small convenience store that was also once a working garage. The oil filled pit was covered with a platform so we could have shelf space. By then we had expanded to carrying canned goods and organic foods.

Eventually, the co-op outgrew that space and managed to move into what I think had been the old A&P on Market at [I think] Elderkin Street. We had a huge assortment of cheeses in the deli and people bega n coming from all around the county.

I moved from Potsdam before the Sandstome Drive Bridge was ever built but it was being discussed.

So I was really excited to read about it's current location, made aware of the co-op's website.

Thanks Steve, for making note of this acheivement.

Will Brady

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