THE KICKAPOO EXCHANGE STORY
The Kickapoo Exchange began as a food buying group in 1975 with the goal of providing wholesome food as well as fostering community involvement. In 1976 the first storefront opened, staffed with all volunteer labor. After losing the first two co-op buildings due to faulty wiring, the membership decided to build a new energy efficient co-op on the original sight using as much reclaimed wood from the lost co-op as possible. The current co-op was both designed and built by the membership! The design reflects the value we place on both access to foods and upon community interaction by providing space for events, which has now become a cafe.
Governance of the co-op has been consensus based from day one. Each member’s voice is equal and important. This allows us to draw upon a wide base of experience, opinion, and perspective as we continue to learn and expand as cooperative.
We have slowly grown and incorporated paid staff and management, but volunteers remain a vital part of the operations. By incorporating volunteers, we keep prices affordable, insure a informed membership, and continue the legacy of community involvement that makes the KEX truly unique.