Origins & History2020-02-20T16:14:08-08:00

First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op History

Celebrating 50 years of Co-operation!

First Alternative was founded in 1970 by a group of concerned citizens and Oregon State University students. They were committed to offering education for people who wanted to adopt healthier lifestyles, and to provide the community with a source of high quality, nutritious foods at the lowest possible prices.

Now, 50 years later, we continue to strive to be a cooperative model, providing natural and organic food in community-oriented stores. In celebration of our 50th anniversary in 2020, we invite you to enjoy memories, stories, photos, and videos that will let you take a walk down memory lane to learn about and remember the history of First Alternative Co-op.

Fresh, local, organic, and groovy since 1970!

The Co-op’s History

The Denison Connection

The Denison Connection The Denisons and the Co-op go way back. William Denison, Tom's father, advised and assisted the OSU students who had the notion [...]

July 1st, 2020|

The 1970s

Open For Business: The 1970s Opening day was November 23, 1970. Corvallis’s newest grocery store was well-scrubbed, [...]

June 19th, 2020|

How It All Began

How It All Began In the late 60s a handful of OSU students with Associate Professor of Botany Dr. William Denison as their faculty advisor wanted to start a cooperative grocery store. “Co-ops were the [...]

June 2nd, 2020|

Community Corner

People have always asked me why I stayed at the Co-op for so long. It’s because you meet the nicest people here. Whether it’s fellow Owners and shoppers, vendors, staff, or volunteers, people are here because they want to be here and they are happy to be here.

Jim Dobis, Co-op Owner and Former Employee

I have been an Owner at the Co-op since the very beginning when it was run entirely by volunteers. When the business shifted away from the volunteer model, I was worried things would change to the point that I would not recognize it, but have been so happy to see that the Co-op has maintained the same spirit they had in the 70’s! Everyone is helpful, friendly, and non-judgmental. It is really a pleasure to shop here!

Sue Pisias, Co-op Owner