Consumers Cooperative Society of Santa Monica
 
 
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The Co-Op Story
 
 


The Santa Monica Co-Op Story

History

The Consumers Cooperative Society of Santa Monica, Inc. (Co-Op) has a rich history of serving its members’ needs in a myriad of ways. Founded as a buyers’ club in 1936, the grassroots organization grew and evolved over the years. The Co-Op expanded its scope to operate a thriving grocery store, gas station, and credit union. Members could take advantage of a Co-Op-sponsored child care center as well as a funeral society, (which is still in existence today). Through a licensed insurance agent, members could obtain reasonable auto and homeowners’ coverage as well as enroll in Co-Op-sponsored medical and dental plans, The group held popular art shows, book sales and even published a magazine. Members came from near and far for the annual one-day Christmas tree sale! The Co-Op truly served its members’ economic, social and cultural interests.

Faced with increasing competition from large supermarket chains and the rising cost of advertising, the Co-Op grocery store was forced to close its doors in 1975. However, the Santa Monica Consumers Credit Union continued to operate successfully on its own for the next 25 years. In 2000, after a nationwide search for the right partner, the Co-Op credit union merged with Kinecta Federal Credit Union.

Today

Now more than 30,000 active members strong, the Consumers Cooperative Society of Santa Monica continues to adhere to its founding principles. The Co-Op remains dedicated to enhancing the lives of its members and the community through supporting education, financial literacy and community service.
In addition to membership eligibility in Kinecta Federal Credit Union, the Co-Op offers college scholarships, financial education, volunteer opportunities, as well as valuable member benefit offers from selected cooperative partners.

Co-Op Timeline

  • 1936 – First membership meeting
  • 1937 – One-room store opens
  • 1944 – Santa Monica Consumers Credit Union (SMCCU) organized
  • 1946 – Gas station opens
  • 1946 – West Los Angeles real estate acquired
  • 1948 – Store moves to West LA location
  • 1955 – Store expanded
  • 1975 – Credit Union relocates – CO-OP store closes
  • 2000 – SMCCU merges with Kinecta Federal Credit Union
  • 2011 – Co-Op celebrates 75th Anniversary of service to its members!

Celebrating 75 Years: 1936-2011
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Consumers Cooperative Society of Santa Monica
The Consumers Cooperative Society of Santa Monica, known as “The Co-Op,” had its humble beginnings in a piano box, in which items to be bought and sold were kept. Notice the Membership Contest display on the bulletin board in the background.  (Photo courtesy Peter Mason)

Consumers Cooperative Society of Santa Monica
By 1937 the Co-Op store had grown large enough to require its own storefront, located at 713 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. The store soon expanded into the two adjacent spaces. (Photo courtesy Peter Mason)

 

 

 

 

 

 
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