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Kootenay Co-op, Nelson, British Columbia
Kootenay Co-op, Nelson, British Columbia

Nestled in the beautiful Selkirk Mountains, in southeastern British Columbia, Nelson is a community that proudly maintains its “small-town” feel. With 350 restored buildings leftover from the town’s silver rush of the 1890s, this area is known for its scenic setting, surplus of organic gardens and friendly locals. It’s also home to a much-loved community co-op called Kootenay.

Owned and operated by friends, neighbors and family, Kootenay carries an array of high-quality organic, fair trade and local products. “People in Nelson and the surrounding area take pleasure and pride in their community. They are committed to environmental concerns and enthusiastic about natural living,” says Jocelyn Carver, marketing and outreach manager. “For a town of 10,000 to have a natural foods co-op with 12,000 members is pretty incredible. We have many members from the surrounding community, too.”

No newcomer to healthy, holistic living, Kootenay was originally established in 1975 to support and promote the health of local families. Today, it’s easy to be bowled over by the knowledgeable employees and friendly service. Carver says they offer cooking classes, workshops and events to educate the community, get kids involved and ensure the welfare of their neighbors. “It’s inspiring to see our members learn how to support their own health and wellness and get great results,” says Carver.

Weleda products are a staple on Kootenay’s shelves, according to Carver. Their customers let them know when Skin Food is running low. “We love Weleda’s clean, all-natural ingredients and commitment to a supply chain with integrity,” she says. “Weleda is not afraid to be beautiful as well as effective!” Connie Montalvo