Happy 80th Birthday Four Rivers Co-op
March 20, 2024

Celebrating 80 Years of Four Rivers Co-op: A Legacy of Community and Service

Co-operatives are an integral part of our communities, providing essential services and fostering a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, it's a time to reflect on our journey, our achievements, and the values that have guided us throughout the years here at our Co-op.

It all began on June 2nd, 1942 where a group of visionary individuals who recognized the importance of cooperation and collective action that met the needs of the community formed the Vanderhoof Egg pool within the municipality of Vanderhoof, British Columbia. On August 2nd, 1944 under the Co-operative Act of British Columbia, our co-op became formally incorporated as the Vanderhoof Co-operative Association. We continued to serve as an egg pooling depot with a focus on providing services in food, coal, and feed operations. Over the decades, our small co-op expanded its operations and diversified its offerings to meet the evolving needs of our members and the community at large. Recognizing the importance of adapting to changing times, the cooperative ventured into new sectors such as food, fuel distribution, hardware and agriculture. 

The expansions allowed our co-op to serve a broader customer base while remaining true to its values of responsibility, integrity, service and excellence. Whether it was providing quality goods at competitive prices or supporting local initiatives and charitable causes, our cooperative remained deeply rooted in its commitment to serving the greater good.

Like any organization, our co-op faced its share of challenges over the years. Economic downturns, changes in consumer preferences, and regulatory hurdles tested the resilience of the cooperative. However, through strategic planning, prudent management, and the unwavering support of its members, we persevered and grew. In 2001 we merged with Houston Co-op, in 2004 we purchased the Terrace Co-op Cardlock when they shut down the rest of their operations and in 2008 we completed an amalgamation with North Cariboo Growers Co-op in Quesnel.

With our growth, in 2016 our Board of Directors felt the time had come to change the legal name of our co-operative, to include our broad geographical area and our diverse membership, and created a contest in which our members could submit their name suggestions. The Board of Directors presented the name they selected from the more than 160 submissions received to the membership at the Annual General Meeting on April 24, 2017 and received an 86% approval rate in favour of changing the legal name of our co-operative. Effective May 11, 2017, we renamed to Four Rivers Co-operative in tribute of 4 of largest rivers that run through our trading area  the Nechako, Bulkley, Skeena and the Fraser.

As we celebrate our 80 year milestone, we here at Four Rivers Co-op take pride in our rich history, our enduring values, and the beneficial impact we have fostered within our local communities. We are proud to be present in 15 communities with a 900km trading area, operate 33 locations, provide over 270 individuals with rewarding careers, and be 40,000 members strong and growing.

As we embark on the next chapter of our story, we remain committed to serving our members, supporting our community, and upholding the principles that have guided us for eight decades. With gratitude for the past and optimism for the future, we look forward to continuing our journey. Thank you for being a part of our co-operative. 

We are are neighbours, we are friends, we are co-op.