Oneota Community Co-op
Started in 1972 with a small group of people making trips to Iowa City and Minneapolis to purchase foods in bulk, the Oneota Community Food Co-op evolved from the Oneota Food Buying Club and moved to its first storefront in 1974. Over the last four decades, the Co-op has gone through a number of expansions to become a fully stocked grocery with more than 4,000 member-owners. Collaborations with many regional individuals and organizations including local producers, ISU Extension, Luther College, NE Iowa Food and Farm Coalition, NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Winneshiek Farmer's Market have helped the Co-op further its mission to provide access to locally grown food plus sustainably produced products.
During its early years the Co-op occupied several locations in Decorah before finally moving to its current address at 312 W. Water Street in 2008. The spacious storefront, previously occupied by Fareway Grocery Store, provided the expanding enterprise with enough room for its large selection of bulk foods as well as a wide variety of organic produce, nutritional supplements, packaged and frozen foods, and body care items. The larger space also allowed the Co-op to open Water Street Cafe and an expanded Wine and Beer section featuring local, regional and globally made vintages and brews. Featuring breakfast sandwiches, fresh salads, and soups made from local and organic ingredients, the Water Street Cafe also offers a hot bar buffet with a different themed menu daily and fresh-grilled sandwiches made-to-order. The popular espresso bar serves up locally roasted, fair trade, organic espresso coffee, organic milks and Italian sodas.