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The Biggest Little Co-op

Adamant in Vermont is the oldest continuously run food cooperative in the country


Some cooperatives specialize in electricity. Some specialize in finance. Some specialize in food. Then there’s the Adamant Co-op in Vermont, which does a little bit of everything.

Adamant Co-op in Vermont. (Photo CourtesyL Adamant Co-op)

The cooperative, located in the north-central part of the state, is part grocery store, part community center, part music venue and there’s even a post office thrown in, to boot. It was formed in 1935 when a handful of locals kicked in $5 each to get it off the ground. In 1940, the co-op purchased a house to use as a community center and a store; it still is located in the same shingled storefront.

In 2015, the co-op was robbed one winter night. In true cooperative fashion, members looked out for each other. “We can only afford one clerk at a time, but somebody had the idea to bring in a couple of instruments to keep them company,” says co-manager Regina Thompson. From that sprung music jams, book clubs and board game tournaments to bring the community together, safely.

The co-op-supported Blackfly Festival, held this year in June, featured music from Sweden and the British Isles, a bake sale with blackfly-inspired delights, a plant sale and members of the insect family.

For more, visit adamantcoop.org.