Your Co-op Stories

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Oryana on Front Street in Traverse City in the late 1970s

50 Years of Cooperation

In celebration of our upcoming 50th anniversary, we are asking Oryana owners and the community to share your stories of the co-op. Do you have any great memories? Share them with us!

A fun memory from a long-time owner:

I had just moved to Traverse City in 1975 and my sister-in-law saw the window sign for Oryana (on Front St.). I went upstairs, met Mike Williams, and the rest is history! I baked 6 loaves of bread using freshly ground 100% whole wheat each month  as part of my membership duties. I then helped Oryana move to Randolph St. We were flying high. I moved away for a lot of years but rejoined 11 years ago after retiring from teaching and returned to this amazing, beautiful part of Michigan and, of course, rejoined Oryana. We’ve come a long way baby!


Here is what we would love to see. You don’t have to forfeit your Oryana treasures if you don’t want to, but we’d still love to see them and take photos.

  • old photos
  • old newsletters
  • advertisements, pamphlets, menus, etc.
  • vintage Oryana swag i.e. hats, aprons, t-shirts, etc.

Although we absolutely adore memorabilia from the earliest days, we are also interested in hearing from anyone willing to share a story. By sending us your stories and photos, you are helping the co-op document its history. For inspiration:

  1. What is an early Co-op memory?
  2. Do you have a recent favorite Co-op memory?
  3. Why did you join the Co-op? Has your perspective of the Co-op changed during this time?
  4. Looking back, what is the most significant change/difference between the Co-op when you joined and the Co-op now?
  5. Is there a product or specific thing about the Co-op that you have enjoyed since the beginning? Or is there something you miss?
  6. What would you like the Co-op to be like 10 years from now? What about 50 years from now?
  7. Describe what the Co-op means to you in one sentence.
  8. Describe what the Co-op means to you in one word.
  9. Describe what the Co-op means to you in haiku form.

Send your memories to [email protected]. We look forward to your stories!