I'm sure most people who know what I'm talking about already know this, but it's a thing in my life I need to talk about anyways...
The co-op has been around, apparently, for 37 years, just a little less long that myself. I think it's the oldest co-op in the Twin Cities, at the very least the oldest surviving one (for a few more days)
It was the last collectively run co-op left from the early days. Though I think it's had a general manager for the last few years. A friend pointed out at one point that in a way the fact that this didn't save it was a vindication of collective management. I guess so.
I used to work at the New Riverside Cafe, down the street. Another collective that never really seemed to have it together. North Country was like a role model - they actually managed to pay themselves significantly above (like twice!) minimum wage, a long term goal for us that we never reached while I was there...
I'm not sure what all happened. A forced move in about 2000 certainly didn't help things. North Country was maybe the only place that might have been able to pull off the tiny-store-with-wood-floors-and-wood-bins thing long term, but they lost the store and had to grow or die, for sort of unusual reasons.
I'm much more sad than I'd be if any of the other co-ops closed, though Hampden Park would be close, and none of the others seem to be in danger of it.
North Country, for a long time, retained so many of the old hippie co-op values, I guess. The co-op itself would participate in boycotts if they found the issue important enough, and put an emphasis on community building, education, and so one, even when it didn't help them market anything (take note, idealism can make life hard, damn) - They were one of the few co-ops left with a working member program (now hampden park will be the only one) - they're not very efficient, but such an important part of creating community. Oh well, strike one for efficiency I guess.
I guess I'm mourning, more than I expected.