Community Business: Neechi Foods Co-op Ltd

Community Business

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Prepared by Misty Sklar November 2004


Neechi Foods located in the North End of Winnipeg on 325 Dufferin Avenue is one of the city’s best known Aboriginal specialty store. It is truly a community store, based around the principles of an Aboriginal owned and operated worker co-operative. Neechi Foods is open to the public seven days a week. They are well-known for their oven-fresh bannock, fresh and frozen wild blueberries, wild rice, local fruits and vegetables, Manitoba-caught fish, specialty jams, hand-crafted moccasins, Aboriginal artwork and children’s books.

Neechi Foods (Neechi meaning "friends" in Cree and Ojibwa) began in 1989 with the purchase of its current location and started 1990 with regular store operations. The store features a wide variety of economically priced grocery goods from Co-op and Harmonie and offers city-wide delivery. Neechi Foods is sensitive to the health and well-being of the neighborhoods children and offers a worker subsidized 'kids only' fruit basket where children can purchase fresh fruit for 25 cents. They also offer a bulk packaging service aimed at Northern residents collecting supplies for travel to Manitoba’s isolated Northern communities over seasonal winter roads (Neechi Foods). Neechi Foods is very in tune to the communities needs and accepts food vouchers as payment for goods. They also support an informal economy by exchanging crafts made by local women for in store credits that offers mutual support to both the co-op and the crafter.

Neechi Foods 325 Dufferin Avenue (Sklar, 2004)