Plans are well underway to start construction on a new Co-op food store and pharmacy in the vibrant, up-and-coming community of Orchards in south Edmonton. This location will be the third multi-development location for North Central Co-op and will include a food store and pharmacy near the existing gas bar, car wash and Co-op liquor store.
Chief Executive Officer Dean McKim acknowledges that entering a new market is not without its challenges, but says that “we are committed to investing in the future of our co-operative and offering our members and customers more opportunities to shop and earn equity in our local Co-op. We're grateful for the support of our loyal members and customers who see the value in supporting a different kind of business.”
Customers can expect to find high-quality, locally-sourced produce, meat, dairy products, and other essential items to meet their everyday needs. The store will also feature a bakey, deli, and ready-to-eat meal options, including their infamous Co-op Gold Homestyle Fried Chicken, making it a convenient one-stop-shop for busy families and individuals. In addition to the food store, the new location will also feature a full-service pharmacy, where customers and members can fill prescriptions, purchase over-the-counter medications, and receive professional advice from a trusted pharmacy team.
While some might question North Central Co-op’s decision to open a new food store in south Edmonton in light of their Town Centre food store closure, Todd Drouin, Business and Market Development Director clarifies that the decision was made in isolation. He adds, “With the opening of our Orchards food store, we hope to inspire a renewed sense of trust in the Co-op. Our Orchards location will offer a much different shopping experience for customers and members.”
The democratically elected Board of Directors, responsible for approving the full scope of the Orchards multi-development project, took a bold step towards expanding Co-op's presence in the city. According to Dianne Brown, the long-standing Board President, "While constructing a gas bar, liquor store, and now a new food store and pharmacy is a financial stretch for our association, we believe that the short-term pain for our members will result in long-term gains. The Orchards project is not just an investment in our members and the community, but also a model for other co-operative organizations looking to expand their reach and impact."
Carla Debert, Marketing and Community Relations Director emphasizes that “Your local Co-op is more than just a business—it's a community catalyst. We are thrilled to join the Orchards community and are humbled to continue the work that started nearly a century ago."
Starting as a humble co-operative meat locker in Stony Plain in 1946, North Central Co-op has grown to serve communities in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Legal, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, and St. Albert. The new Orchards Co-op food store will bring over 60 jobs to the community.
Unlike other businesses, North Central Co-op is entirely member-owned. Any profits realized within the year are shared with their members and the community. In the past five years, in addition to making considerable community investments, North Central Co-op has allocated just over $12 million in equity to its members.
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About North Central Co-operative Association – North Central Co-op is the fastest growing member-owned retail co-operative in western Canada. Governed by a locally elected Board of Directors, the Association has proudly served North Central Alberta for more than 75 years. Today, North Central Co-op serves more than 110,000 members—and many more customers–in Stony Plain, Sherwood Park, Edmonton, Legal, St. Albert and Fort Saskatchewan area. It operates food, gas, convenience, home centre, and liquor locations. The Co-op brand is built on the idea of being truly local and the promise of staying that way.