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PODCAST: How the Kootenay Coop became the biggest in Canada

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
March 3rd, 2015

About the podcast: The You can do that here! podcast is produced by Andrew Zwicker of AZcreative for the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology. The podcast is a weekly series of 30 minute conversations with some of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs in the Kootenays.


You can CLICK PLAY on the triangle below, or you can listen on iTunes for free, by searching “You can do that here” in the iTunes store

Life on the edge. This is where the truly innovative businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs play. Out in front of the pack there is no one to follow, rule books are unwritten, and possibilities are endless. At the same time, there is no net, and there is no proof or reassurance that any new idea or plan will work until you’ve gone out and proved it.

You might think the bleeding edge is populated with high tech start-ups, but there are folks out there leading their respective packs you may have never thought of. Take grocery stores for instance.

So much more than just a mere grocery store the Kootenay Coop has grown from humble beginnings as The Vallican-Winlaw Food Cooperative in 1975, into Canada’s largest independent consumer owned natural foods retail cooperative.

Taking bold steps beyond the known boundaries of what coops have and can be, the Kootenay Coop has found a magical balance between for profit business, and a democratically run, consumer owned coop. The results speak for themselves with the latest bold step invovling the purchase of 3/4 of a prime downtown block in Nelson, BC and plans well underway to construct a four story mixed use development, that along with retail and condo’s will also feature a greatly expanded 20,000 square foot home for the coop.

Joining us on the podcast today are Deirdrie Lang and Jocelyn Carver of the Kootenay Coop.

The systems they’ve set up and mindset adopted are chaulk full of valuable ideas that any entrepreneurial company wanting to be at or near the leading edge would do well to incorporate.

Click here to LISTEN VIA iTunes



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