Guide to the Semple Street Food Co-op, Pittsburgh, Pa. Records, 1972-1985 AIS.1991.20

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Semple Street Food Co-op, Pittsburgh, Pa. Records
Creator
Semple Street Food Co-op (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Collection Number
AIS.1991.20
Date [inclusive]
1972-1985
Extent
1.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract
The Semple Street Food Cooperative Association was one of many cooperatively owned and managed natural food stores established in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. Incorporated in 1972, it set up operations in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh at 3459 Ward St. (the corner of Ward and Semple). Records of the Semple Street Food Cooperative, Inc. include articles of incorporation, board meeting minutes, bylaws, policies, financial records, member correspondence, and community bulletin board ephemera.

Preferred Citation

Semple Street Food Co-op, Pittsburgh, Pa. Records, 1972-1985, AIS.1991.20, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The Semple Street Food Cooperative Association was one of many cooperatively owned and managed food stores established in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. Building on principles established by a consumer-owned store established in Rochdale, England in 1844, these new American cooperatives helped establish the natural foods industry. The Semple Street Co-op was incorporated in 1972 under the District of Columbia Food Cooperative Association Act, and set up operations in Pittsburgh at 3459 Ward St. (corner of Ward and Semple), in an Oakland storefront that had formerly been Reiser’s Drug Store. During its 12 years of operation, the Co-op’s membership regularly elected a Board of Directors, and dues were paid monthly, either in cash, or volunteer work hours. By assuming part ownership in the business, members were able to order food and household necessities in bulk, and consume them at or near wholesale prices. When the Cooperative disintegrated in 1985, remaining personnel and equipment were transferred to Pittsburgh’s East End Food Co-op.

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Scope and Content Notes

Records of the Semple Street Food Cooperative, Inc. include articles of incorporation, board meeting minutes, bylaws, policies, financial records, member correspondence, and community bulletin board ephemera. The bulk of the records are financial in nature.

"Policy and Management" contains Board meeting minutes, employee policies and ballots. The "Federation of Ohio River Cooperatives" (FORC) is a wholesale supplier and regional cooperative organizer, based in Columbus, Ohio. The FORC newsletter includes price listings illustrating the types of items that would have been in stock at the co-op. "Community Relations and Donations" documents more proactive relationships that the Cooperative maintained with civic, cultural, and charity organizations in the Pittsburgh region, including evidence of a youth internship program. "Supplier Invoices" include a list of retail magazine subscriptions and community advertising, and legal and accounting fees.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, August 2006

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Opie Shepherd in 1991.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Matt Novak in January 2005.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Records of the East End Food Co-op, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1987-1996, AIS.1997.42, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Separated Material

Some records of this collection relating to the East End Co-op were transferred to Records of the East End Food Co-op, Pittsburgh, PA, 1987-1996, AIS.1997.42.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • East End Food Co-op (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • Semple Street Food Co-op (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Subject(s)

  • Associations
  • Cooperative societies -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Food cooperatives -- Pennsylania -- Pittsburgh
  • Food industry and trade -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Semple Street Food Co-op, Pittsburgh, Pa. Records, 1972-1985, AIS.1991.20, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Records of Cooperatives in Pittsburgh, ais 91:20, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

  BoxFolder
Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, 1974-82 11

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  Folder
Semple Street Cooperative Association Corporate Seal and Stamp, 1972 2

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  Folder
Policy and Management, 1981 and undated 3

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  Folder
Federation of Ohio River Cooperatives (FORC) Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 10, 1983 4

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  Folder
Flyers and Broadsheets, undated 5

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  Folder
Community Relations and Donations, 1978-83 6

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  Folder
Supplier Invoices, 1984-85 7

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  Folder
Sales Charts, 1973-78 8

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  Folder
Financial Records, 1972-1984 9-20

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  Folders
Disbursements and receipts, 1981-1985 21-25

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