Co-operatives have a long history of serving members in Western Canada. In the early 20th century, people worked together to create retail co-operatives in many towns in the four western Canadian provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia).
On April 5, 1940 a meeting was held to organize a Co-op which would handle fuel, oil, and grease. On April 16, 1940 another meeting was held and new board of directors were elected after 21 shareholders applied to transfer to the Brooksby Coop. A motion was made that the Board consist of six members only, the first two nominated were to serve for three years, the next two for two years and the last two for one year.
Prices were a little different than what they are are today, they were as follows;
- Light oils - 1¢ per gallon
- Lubricating Oil - 5¢ per gallon
- Grease - 1/2¢ per pound
- Sundry goods - 5% on sales
- Coal - 20¢ per ton
- Wood - 20¢ per cord
- Twine - 25 ¢ per cwt
- Tractors - 50% of commission allowed local
Fuel was hauled from the refinery in sealed government gauged tanks. A 1500 gallon iron tank was purchased in 1941 for diesel fuel storage. Tenders were called to transport fuel in a tank truck with a power take-off pump. Gillis and Devitt was the only application and this was accepted.
On December 7, 1943 a shareholder's meeting was held for the purpose of expanding the Co-op to include groceries and dry goods. An application was made to the War Time Prices and Trade Board to purchase property and in January 1944 a store was purchased from Northern Supply Store that included stock and fixtures. Sales began on January 26, 1944.
In 1947 a one ton truck and equipment was purchased, and 25¢ a barrel rebate was granted to all patrons who wished to haul their own fuel. A 1,000 gallon underground tank and gas pump were purchased and installed at the store. With business expanding, a new facility for fuel and oil storage was badly needed. In the spring of 1951 preparations were made to begin the new oil sheds south of the school site. A 16 x 24 building was erected, and a 5,000 gallon storage tank was purchased in 1952..
Farmers could purchase CCIL machinery through the local Co-op at the same price as through a dealer, and CCIL repairs could be ordered through the store. Fertilizer was also handled at the store.
In 1961 electrical appliances were made available and could be purchased on a budget plan set up by the store. T.V. sales went well and the sale of oil furnaces was added.
In 1963 the Board of Directors was increased from six to nine members. One director was to act as secretary. The store continued to expand its stock of groceries and hardware but dry goods were deleted due to lack of sales. The old store was now inadequate so in 1978 the Board of Directors decided to purchase the garage across the street. Renovations began and on May 1, 1979 an official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held. A gas pump was added in 1987.
The Ridgedale Co-op has proved to be very successful and at present is the only store left in town.
We pride ourselves on our customer service and invite you to visit a location closest to you. When you visit, we strive to make you feel like “You’re at home here.”