Who are we?
Mountain View Market Co+op has been a staple of the Las Cruces community for 40 years! (What is a co+op?) Founded in 1975 and now owned by over 4,000 community members like you, we specialize in natural, organic, and local food.
Stop by our kitchen for fresh, healthy meals and drinks, save money shopping in our bulk department, check out our delicious fresh produce, and best of all, become an owner yourself: Support the local economy, save money on exclusive member discounts and sales, and place your vote for the alternative economic model that benefits the people and the planet — instead of just padding corporate pockets.
Mountain View Market Co+op — Eat Smart, Live Well
In 1975, a group of health-conscious NMSU students decided to pool their resources and start a buying club to purchase whole foods at bulk prices. Legend has it that the items they sought most were Celestial Seasonings Teas, not yet available in Las Cruces, and bulk whole grains like brown rice and wheat berries, as well as the ubiquitous co-op "giant block of cheese." Quickly the operation became so large that it was more practical to open a store: a place where members could buy the wholesome products they needed without the hassle of distributing large purchases. So they transformed a little home on Foster Road into the original Organ Mountain Cooperative.
The store was open to the public, meaning anyone could shop there, and that policy has remained throughout the co-op's history. The members who had originally volunteered their time purchasing, coordinating, and distributing the bulk orders now tended the store in exchange for a discount. There were two kinds of workers, and thus two kinds of discounts: weekly "Core Workers" and monthly "Working Members." It was apparently always a struggle during this time to find a member who would volunteer for the task of cheese cutting! Administration was by a management collective of three who determined store policy by consensus. That system of management has remained intact in the years since.
In 1980, the Co+op moved to a location at the corner of Picacho and Valley. They shared the new space with a restaurant started by four co-op members called the Desert Rose Cafe. By this time it cost $5 per adult per year to be a member, and Working Members had to work two hours per month. A formal Board of Directors was formed and elected by the membership. In 1984, the co-op moved to another Foster Road location, just south of the current location. Staff from that time reminisce about the excitement of having a real walk-in cooler for the first time, jettisoning the Co+op into the 21st century!
In 1993, the Co+op moved just a short leap away to the Idaho Crossings Center, where it's located now. The move was accomplished mainly with shopping carts and members' sweat. For unknown reasons, the store was renamed several times, switching from "Organ Mountain Co-operative" to "Co-op Market" and finally to the name we know today, "Mountain View Market." The co-op expanded from the 3,500 square foot section currently housing offices, receiving area, community room and cafe into the current 11,000 square foot space. Members and Board Members pitched in by scraping away the old linoleum, giving free massages to hardworking staff, and hauling shelves and stock to their new locations. Large fire doors were installed to keep us up to code, and paint colors voted upon by the Board covered the former Hastings video wall lettering.
Education and outreach programs are ever-expanding, reaching at-risk children, senior church groups, and all points in between. Mountain View Market continues to work towards and achieve its goals for creating a beacon of sustainability, empowering employment, local economic stability, and promoting the cooperative model.
Nowadays, our emphasis continues to be on wholesome, high-quality natural foods, and we work to educate consumers about foods and nutrition and to promote local and organic products and producers. Mountain View Market also networks with other cooperative businesses to encourage an economic environment that benefits all consumers.