Co-op Partners Warehouse (CPW) began in 1999 as a simple idea to source the best quality produce from small and local farms for area co-ops. Twenty years later, CPW remains committed to offering distinctive organic and local products to co-ops, grocery stores, restaurants and cafes.
20 Years of Growth By the Numbers
⇒ From 6 employees to 49
⇒ From 2 CPW delivery trucks to 8
⇒ From delivering to 1 state to 7
⇒ From 3 customers (Wedge, Seward Co-op & Lakewinds) to 480
⇒ From 15,000 square feet of space to 51,000
⇒ CPW started as Edward Brown’s idea, a former Wedge produce manager, who was looking for better quality, local and organic wholesale options.
⇒ Co-op Partners Warehouse rented space from Buy Rite in a 1920s-era warehouse in St. Paul.
⇒ CPW worked solely with the Wedge Co-op, Seward Co-op, and Lakewinds Co-op.
⇒ CPW became a certified organic handler. CPW carries almost entirely organic produce through today.
⇒ CPW started distributing their first grocery products from Organic Valley.
⇒ Several employees joined the CPW team from the former Roots and Fruits Cooperative.
⇒ Warehouse Director Tom Rodmyre joined the CPW team.
⇒ Equal Exchange moved into the warehouse and opened their Midwest outpost. Equal Exchange partners with CPW in a variety of ways, from crossdocking to sharing storage space.
⇒ CPW created a staffed reception area to more efficiently work with with Will Call customers and visitors.
⇒ In partnership with the IT team, CPW staff developed their own software system for inventory management, lot tracking, and point of sale.
⇒ A second shift was added. More product and more customers meant that more staff was needed to get the work done.
⇒ A big year for sustainability, a giant compost bin, sensor lights in the coolers and sky lights on the front loading dock were installed.
⇒ New offices (with windows!) were built for administrative offices and reception desk.
⇒ A new staging cooler was installed, allowing staff to store built orders near the loading dock to increase efficiency and work flow.
⇒ Refreshed brand, website and sales materials.
Thank you to CPW employees Rick Christianson (Purchasing Manager/ Produce Buyer), Ephraim Aelony (Shipping & Receiving Supervisor) and Patricia Good (Bookkeeper), who have been with CPW since the beginning!
Rick Christianson, CPW’s Produce Buyer, is committed to sourcing the best quality produce from small farms locally and across the U.S.
• Driftless Organics
• Hoch Orchard
• Harmony Valley Farm
• Featherstone Farm
The Freshest Menus
Restaurants who want the best local produce source through CPW. Dine at any of these delicious local places to enjoy CPW’s fresh, organic produce.
• Spoon River
• Birchwood Café
• Common Roots Café
• Gorkha Palace
From the Beginning
Co-op Partners Warehouse has helped jumpstart many local products, including:
• You Betcha Kimchi
• Good Life Peanut Butter
• Rochdale Farms Butter & Cheese
• Nessalla Kombucha
The Circle of Goods
These vendors purchase ingredients from CPW to make their products and then CPW helps distribute their products to local stores.
• Local Crate
• You Betcha Kimchi
• Gray Duck Chai
• Valley’s Own Gluten-free Bakehouse
• Angelica’s Garden
• Fierce Ferments