Home Commentary Reasons to Join the Adamant Co-op

Reasons to Join the Adamant Co-op

Courtesy of the Adamant Co-op.
Would you like to be a member of a piece of history: the oldest continuously operating food co-operative in the United States?

You’re in luck! April is membership month at the Adamant Co-operative Store. 

Adamant, Vermont, which straddles the boundary of Calais and East Montpelier six miles north of Montpelier, is a hamlet that does not exist as a governmental unit, but it does have as its geographic core and community focal point the Adamant Co-operative Store. And for historical reasons, it has its own ZIP code: 05640. Even though the flooding last July destroyed the parklet/picnic spot across the road, Adamant still has its post office in the Co-op.

The Co-op was founded in August of 1935, making it the oldest food co-operative in the United States. It predates another venerable institution in the region, the Hanover Co-operative in Hanover, New Hampshire, by five months. Historical research has shown that while there may have been co-operatives in the United States that existed before the Adamant Co-op, all of those are gone and none was in continuous operation as long. 

And consider this. The founders of the Adamant Co-operative Store didn’t stop with just the store. They went on to found the Adamant Credit Union, which has since been absorbed by a larger credit union, and the Washington Electric Co-op, which now provides electricity to over 10,000 customers in central Vermont.

What is the value of an Adamant Co-op membership? Aside from the knowledge that you are supporting an interesting and important facet of Vermont’s history, consider these thoughts of Scott Thompson, a resident of Worcester and a Co-op member of longstanding:

In a time of division, the Adamant Co-op welcomes everyone.

In a time of industrialized everything, the Co-op features products by local hands and from local lands.

In a time of disconnection, the Co-op combines the efforts of generations past and present in a lasting project to make everyday life that much better.

In a time of technology-boosted conformism, the Co-op fosters quirkiness, lively individuality, the art of becoming who you are, and the joy of accepting others as they are.

In a time of bad tempers, the Co-op is an uncomplicated place of warmth and good nature.

And perhaps, most important of all, even in a time of rampant and inescapable inflation, the Co-op still has penny candy!

Its denizens insist that Adamant is as much a state of mind as it is a place on the map.  You don’t need to have the ZIP code 05640 to belong to the Adamant Co-op. Join Co-op members such as Rick Winston and Andrea Serota, former owners of the Savoy Theater in Montpelier, in supporting this historic institution. According to Andrea, “All are wanted; all are welcome. Come join in!”

Memberships start at $20 a year. For more information on becoming a member, visit adamantcoop.org. Or visit the store at 1313 Haggett Road in Adamant.