What Does Florida Citrus Have to Do with a New England Co-op?
An enduring mystery exposed!
A few years back, our co-op turned 75. What symbol represented our storied history, we wondered? Naturally, we settled on the Florida orange.
What the heck, right? What's the connection? Oh these cooperators and their fanciful imaginations!
It's not as much of a stretch as you might think. The link between Florida oranges and our New England co-op is a very cool story:
In January of 1936, 17 Upper Valley residents pooled their resources to order things they needed but couldn't easily get. Citrus was particular hard to come by during the Great Depression, so one of the first things they ordered was Florida oranges by the case.
Those early co-op folk could have just gotten enough to feed themselves, but they didn't. They also got enough to feed their neighbors. In the process, they soon incorporated and created one of the first co-ops in the United States. (Thanks, early co-op people!)
So there you go. Mystery revealed. This is why we do a big citrus caselot sale every January (shameless plug: going on now!), and why citrus is pretty special to us in general. We've been serving our Upper Valley communities for more than 80 years now. It all started with a few people who wanted to take care of each other. That and a few cases of oranges.