On a cold January night in 1913 a group of settlers met at the home of Herman Savinen, a Finnish farmer, to discuss the formation of a cooperative. They did not have the remotest idea what it was all about. Their goal was to be a farmers Co-op and act as an agent to sell their hay and grains and to supply themselves with everyday needs. Although the Co-op was organized mainly by the Finns and early management was mainly in their hands, their support came from other Finns, the French and the Hollanders (Dutch).
After several meetings they were officially incorporated on June 24, 1913. According to the newspaper, The Co-op Builder dated July 15, 1943, Isaac Keranen, one of the original signers of the Articles, stated that “ grim necessity drove them desperately on”. As a result, the “Loomis Building” was purchased on November 19, 1913 for the sum of $729.00. This amount included all stock of groceries, all fixtures, consisting of one counter, one pair of scales, one roller top desk and office chair, one clock, one coffee mill and one heating stove and stovepipes. The store opened for business on December 1, 1913.
Over the years the store grew to include a feed mill and service station (1933) in Rudyard. A bulk delivery truck was purchased to deliver gas, oil and heating fuel to local farmers. A second store was opened in Pickford in 1951 and the newest store, The Kinross Co-op, in Kincheloe at the site of the old Air Base Exchange building in 1989.
The year 2013 was one of many celebrations of our Co-ops 100th Anniversary. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication over the years to stay in business. We “ Thank” those who carried out the original idea and all of those along the way who helped get us to where we are today. It truly has been a Cooperative endeavor!
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