The story of our Co-op began in 1974 as a buying club in Grantsburg, WI. In the beginning, we were run by a core group of volunteers and had a small selection of products with a heavy emphasis on bulk goods. As demand grew and more people joined, the food operation made several more moves. By 1981, we had incorporated and established an elected board of directors. In 1991 we made the big leap out of a store basement in Frederic into our current location on Main Street in Luck, a northwestern Wisconsin village of 1,100. In 2004 became proud owners of the building!
Since purchasing the building, many repairs have been made and the store expanded twice. In 2015, with the help of many volunteers and a successful owner loan program, we remodeled and increased the square footage of the retail area and added a much needed office space and more functional food prep area. The store is now spacious and allows owners and customers a more enjoyable shopping experience.
In 2017, we began investing even our village and the surrounding rural community we serve by adding the Co-op Loft.
The Co-op Loft will create 2,400 square feet of badly needed office and co-work space on the second floor of our historic building. This space will also provide the fast and affordable internet access that can be hard to find in rural Wisconsin. Co-op owners have already contributed more than 300 hours of labor and $20,000 in capital for the project. We plan to begin renting these innovative spaces in 2018!. From a small group of dedicated volunteers, Natural Alternative has grown to more than 600 owners! We strive to be a premier outlet for farmers and producers, helping to keep the close connection between farmers and customers strong.
We continue to serve in the spirit of our founders by being an institution looking to serve - not take from - our community.