Daily Groceries Co-Op History

Daily Groceries Co-op is proud to have served the Athens, Georgia community for the past two decades. In that time, Daily has grown from a small general store to a thriving community hub for good food and good ideas. Owned by our customers, the Co-op attracts a diverse group of people who share an interest in healthy food and investing in their local community. Below is a brief summary of Daily’s history.

1992: The Inaugural Year

On an auspicious day in February 1992, Daily Groceries opened its doors for the first time. Daily Groceries first existed as general grocery, designed to address a wide variety of consumer needs in the wake of the departure of a Bell’s grocery store that had previously served downtown Athens.

Daily’s original location was 197 Prince Avenue, just down the road from where Daily currently operates. It was a small place that stocked everything from organic flour and vegetables to Moon Pies and toilet paper. The financial situation for this first incarnation of Daily did not develop as hoped, and within the year, the original founders of Daily Groceries, Inc. decided to sell the store.

1992-1996: A New Era

Athens residents rose to the challenge and purchased the store with the idea of making it a cooperative. On October 17, 1992 the second incarnation of Daily Groceries opened its doors. From the beginning, there was strong community involvement, in particular tremendous support in the form of member labor. Despite help from the community, within the first year of its “second life”, Daily was once again on shaky ground.

A Board of Directors was formed in 1993. The structure brought by the new Board provided critical guidance and direction. With direction from the Board, Daily Groceries successfully navigated their early years, encountering ups and downs along the way.

1997-2000: The Move and the Merger

In 1997, Daily Groceries grew out of its original home, and  moved to its new and current digs, a slightly larger space at 523 Prince Avenue.

Three years later, it was time for another important change. Daily Groceries started the new millennium as a true consumer-owned cooperative. On January 27, 2000, Daily Groceries, Inc. officially merged with Daily Groceries Co-op, re-incorporating as a cooperative under Title 11 of the State of Vermont Statutes. The State of Georgia did not and does not offer incorporation as a consumer owned co-operative. This is true for many states, and as such many food co-ops choose to incorporate in states other than those in which they reside.

2000-2013: Growing and Connecting

Now, as Daily celebrates 20 years serving Athens, the Co-op is stronger than ever. Daily is working hard to connect with our sister co-ops throughout the country and benefit from their experience and guidance.  2012 saw tremendous sales growth, and the Co-op is poised to bust out of its small (1,000 square feet) retail space. Daily has taken the next important step toward true community ownership by converting its membership structure to patronage. This is a landmark moment in life of Daily. The years ahead promise exciting growth and increased community ownership and involvement. You – our customers and our community – are building the foundation for a bright future.

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