A Journey into Central Alberta Co-op's History
August 24, 2023

Embarking on an exciting journey through time, we are immersing ourselves in the history of Central Alberta Co-op. As we uncover the chapters of our past, we invite you to contribute your invaluable photos and stories.

Did you work for one of our locations in the past and still have your uniform? Have an old receipt or old product packaging? Maybe you have a photo of yourself rocking an 80s hairstyle in front of our locations? Whatever you have, as long as it is Central Alberta Co-op related, we want to see it! We wish to display your photos and stories to show how proud we are of how far we've come and to honour everyone who has contributed to our success.

The deadline to submit your photos and stories is September 15, 2023. By doing so, you will be entered for a chance to win 1 of 5 $50 Co-op gift cards! Please email your submissions to promo@centralab.coop. We eagerly await your submissions!

An overview of our history!

2017 - Eckville Co-operative Association Limited and Central Alberta Co-op Ltd. Amalgamate

Co-ops were built on the concept of working together to help serve their communities better. With the retail landscape continuing to be more complex, both Eckville and Central Alberta Co-op's Board of Directors entered into discussion regarding the possibility of a partnership in 2016. They saw that this partnership would be beneficial not only to the Co-op's themselves but also to the member/customers and the communities they serve. Effective, January 29th, 2017, the new Central Alberta Co-op Ltd. was formed.

2013 - Red Deer and Central Alberta Co-ops Amalgamate

In 2011, the Board of Directors, along with Management, again had a much larger vision of working together to not only strengthen their operations but also provide expanded service to members. In 2012, members voted unanimously to join Central Alberta Co-op Ltd with Red Deer Co-op Limited, to form the new Central Alberta Co-op Ltd.

2008 - Innisfail and Spruce View Co-ops Amalgamate

In 2008, after working closely together for almost 60 years, Innisfail and Spruce View Co-ops had a vision for the future of these two Co-ops, and amalgamated to form Central Alberta Co-op Ltd. Since that time, other facilities have been added or upgraded, fulfilling more member needs.

1939 - Spruce View Co-op

The Spruce View Co-op started in 1938 and was incorporated in 1939 as “The Corner Co-op”. In 1963, the name was changed to the Spruce View Co-operative Association. Being the only retail store in Spruce View, the Co-op has always been the hub of the community. With a very humble beginning of selling groceries and fuel, Spruce View Co-op now offers food, hardware, lumber and farm supplies. It has a full service gas bar as well as a cardlock.

1937 - Red Deer Co-op

In 1937, the charter was issued for Red Deer Consumers Co-op. In 1951, this Co-op was taken over by the Alberta Co-operative Wholesale Ltd., and then in 1956, assets were purchased, and the new Red Deer Co-op Limited was born, selling food, hardware and farm supplies. Over the years, more facilities were added, not only in Red Deer, but also Lacombe, Stettler and Elnora.

1934 - Innisfail Co-op

The first Co-op in this particular area was in Innisfail, when in 1934, a group of community members formed a central purchasing agency, naming it Innisfail & District Co-operative Association. The first sales were cases of fruit, and the store was a railway car. This Co-op was incorporated in November 1940. Innisfail Co-op has seen many changes and expansions over the years. They offer the community a wide variety of services, including food, hardware, farm supplies and fuel.

1912 - Eckville Co-op

In April of 1912, the Medicine Valley Estonian Society met to discuss the creation of a consumer co-operative. This meeting led to the formation of the Eckville and Gilby Co-operative Company. At the time, the price of bread was 5 cents per loaf and gasoline was 21 cents per gallon. In 1938, after many years of steadily increasing business, a new store was constructed in the Town of Eckville. The Eckville and Gilby Co-operative Company incorporated and became Eckville Co-operative Association Limited. After a devastating fire destroyed the feed mill in 1992, a new Agro Center was built and opened on the same site. The following year, a new Food Store was constructed at its present location. In 2010, a cardlock was added to their locations.