Co-op History

The Onion River Co-op has come a long ways since its humble beginnings as a buying club in 1973. The Co-op experienced several location changes in line with modest incremental growth. However, the most significant change came in 2002, when the Onion River Co-op entered into an agreement with the city of Burlington in which they would operate a grocery store on land leased from the city. This new location dramatically increased the store footprint from 6,000 to 16,000 square feet and opened in February 2002.

To reflect concerns that the Co-op would meet the needs of the City by providing a line of conventional foods, the new store was named City Market, to differentiate it from Onion River Co-op, which exclusively sold natural foods. Prices on these conventional items are an affordable option for Burlington residents. City Market compares favorably in prices with conventional grocery stores. Don’t believe it? Check out a third party price comparison performed by the Burlington Free Press. City Market was consistently one of the area’s most affordable options for basic market basket items (bread, milk, eggs, peanut butter, etc). See for yourself and start saving at City Market today!  Go to Price Comparisons

The ownership at City Market, Onion River Co-op is structured as a cooperative, democratic organization with open Membership. Currently the Co-op has over 12,000 Members/Owners. A Member-elected Board of Directors represents the Members/Owners. The Board operates under Policy Governance; the Board of Directors establishes policies (Global Ends), which are interpreted by the General Manager and carried out by the staff of the store and monitored by the Board of Directors.

Today, City Market, Onion River Co-op is a huge success with over 4,500 customers coming through our doors each day. In addition to a steady stream of customers, the Co-op has received local and national recognition for its outstanding financial performance and innovative community outreach programs.