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East Lansing Food Co-op records

Identifier: MSS 592 large

Scope and Contents

The East Lansing Food Co-op Records contain correspondence, ledgers, annual reports, manuals, promotional material, newsletters, photographs, and oversized poster boards.


  • Creation: 1977 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research with the exception of Box 5, which has financial records restricted by Special Collections. For more information, please contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored off site. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

The East Lansing Food Co-Op (ELFCO) is a grassroots East Lansing organization with a mission to provide access to healthy foods to the community while helping build the area's economy by buying primarily local produce and other products, supporting environmental sustainability and social justice by buying organic, fairly traded food and products. ELFCO's slogan is "Food for people - Not for profit." The ELFCO was founded in 1976 by 30 members from the Oakhill neighborhood as a buying club for MSU campus community members who wanted inexpensive healthy food. Soon after, they opened a cooperatively-owned grocery store "Food of Our desire Co-Operative, Inc" at 211 Evergreen Street in East Lansing. Within two years, the Co-Op grew into a store on W. Grand River, still serving the University as the primary market. In 1980, they opened a second concurrant larger location to serve the suburban market including Okemos and Haslett on 4960 Northwind drive in East Lansing. The Co-op struggled financially for many years. In May 1987, the campus location closed due to dwindling interest in co-ops and financial losses. They closed their Northwind store in 2017 due to competition with Foods for Living and the new Whole Foods chain presence and continued financial loss.


4.2 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by representatives of the ELFCO board in 2017.

Separated Materials

ELFCO Newsletters/ELFCO News/The Scoop, 1977-2014, and the DVD "For People, Not For Profit: A Look Inside the East Lansing Food Co-Op."

Processing Information

Lydia Tang processed this collection in 2020. Due to rehousing and separating materials for cataloging, there is no "Box 7."

Finding Aid for the East Lansing Food Co-op records
4 Published And Cataloged
Lydia Tang
2017, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA