Our History

In 1973, a small group of pioneering people established a buying club to obtain fresh, wholesome food at fair prices. From that one back porch operation run solely by dedicated volunteers we have evolved into a $26 million, two-store cooperative business serving the Traverse City community and beyond.

While business operations have certainly changed – for example, we no longer write all the bulk items on a chalkboard (500 is just too many these days), nor do we have board meetings in the General Manager’s sauna – our mission remains true to our roots: To provide high quality food produced in ecologically sound ways at fair value to owners and the community.

Though Oryana has had its share of ups and downs over its history, today we are thriving thanks to the initial seeds sown by that small group of founding mothers and fathers who had the vision and perseverance to establish a healthy alternative to the mainstream food market of the early ’70s.