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Frozen In Time: Good Earth Food Co-Op [AUDIO,VIDEO]

Ashli Gerdes, WJON News

ST. CLOUD — The Good Earth Food Cooperative began in the basement of the Newman Center on the campus of St. Cloud State University in 1971.

Over the years their goal has been to buy local and organic products keeping their tradition, “Frozen In Time.”

A group of students banned together to form a buying club for natural, local and organic products.

Eventually they expanded their operation to a brick and mortar building next to Ace Bar.

The cooperative is run by its members who pay a one time fee for lifetime membership. The members elect a board of directors who decide what products to carry in the store.

At the end of a profitable year dividends are distributed to each member based on their yearly purchase investments.

General manager, Melinda Asmus says the concept of buying local and knowing what you’re consuming goes back for decades.

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They sell a variety of local diary products, meats and produce. They carry locally made bread called Fred’s Bread from Minneapolis. The store even sells bottled milk from area dairy farms. When you’re finished with your milk you can return the bottle and receive your deposit back.

The co-op moved the operation to their current location along Veterans Drive in 1992.

Asmus says it’s the same organization it has been since the beginning–only larger. Today the co-op has more than 4,000 members.

View more of our Frozen In Time series

See a video of the Good Earth Food Co-Op below.

Have an Idea for a "Frozen in Time" story?

If so, we'd love to hear your suggestions for our series. Remember, we want to know about businesses, groups, services and people who are still doing it old-school.

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