Seward Co-op opened in 1972 on the corner of 22nd and Franklin avenues. In the beginning the co-op was run by a core group of volunteers and had a small selection of products with a heavy emphasis on bulk goods.
Over the next several years ownership and sales grew significantly. In 1987, the co-op expanded its building and again found that growth led to more growth. By the mid-1990s, it became clear that the co-op was still growing. With the support of owners, Seward built a new store at 2111 E. Franklin Ave. which opened its doors in 1998.
In 2005, the co-op began to plan for a new store expansion on Franklin Ave. Co-op owners invested $1.5 million in the project and the current Franklin store opened in 2009.
In 2013, Seward Co-op announced its proposed second store, the Friendship store, at 38th St. and Clinton Ave. A second store offers the opportunity to bring together more people around good food. The Friendship store opened in October 2015.
In 2015, Seward Co-op also saw the opening of its first retail restaurant, the Co-op Creamery, at 2601 E. Franklin Ave. The building was built in 1920 by a multi-stakeholder co-op that processed and home delivered milk and other dairy products to its owners. Seward Co-op has returned the building to its original use as a food production the co-op's administrative offices on the second floor.
Back in 1972, when the co-op took shape, few people could have imagined it would grow to be the thriving community center and source of healthful food it is today. From a few working volunteers, Seward Co-op has grown to nearly 15,000 owners and 400 employees. What’s most important, though, is that amidst great success and profitability, the co-op has remained true to its Ends, never losing sight of its commitment to its owners and the greater community.