Mid-Island Co-op was created by mid Vancouver Island citizens in 1959 as a socially responsible way to provide themselves with goods and services.
Probably everybody who lives in and around Nanaimo has heard of the Co-op. In fact, though we’ve been known by a few different names, it’s still just ‘the Co-op’ to most people. And it is probably one of the best-known institutions in our community.
It’s perhaps surprising, then, to discover that the Co-op’s history is not a long one. It begins about 40 years ago, when a small group of people connected with the Credit Union and led by Rod Glen began to wonder out loud why a community that enthusiastically supported a Credit Union did not have a consumers’ Co-operative.
That meeting of course led to others, and lots of them. But on September 28, 1959 a Memorandum of Association was signed to form Mid-Island Consumer Services Co-operative. The first services provided were home heating fuel and gasoline, and a bulk oil plant and gas station were built. Three years after the Memorandum was signed, the first gallon of gas (we weren’t metric in 1962) was pumped.
Today, Co-op’s 20,000 members own 8 gas bars with convenience stores and the familiar landmark on Bowen Road, Co-op Centre which houses Coastal Community Credit Union, Vancouver Island Golf Centre, Medichair, Diana’s Garden Centre and Liquidation World.
All of our profits stay in the community through allocations to our members or contributions to local organizations.