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Our History

Our History

Frontier Co-op began as a two-person operation in 1976 in a river cabin in Eastern Iowa. Since then we‘ve grown steadily to become a major supplier of natural products. Our success throughout the years reflects our close harmony with the product needs and the values of our members and natural products consumers.

1970

1970
  • Begin selling herbs and spices to local co-ops as a two-person operation in a small riverside cabin.

  • Add first organic products to line and lead in promoting the environmental and social benefits of organics.

  • Buy 5,200 sq. ft. grocery store in Fairfax, Iowa, and move operations there.

  • Begin bottling Frontier Co-op essential oils in response to store requests.

  • Begin selling other manufacturer's products in response to store requests.

  • Incorporate as cooperative owned by customers.

1980

1980
  • Return first patronage refund to Frontier Co-op member/owners.

  • Elect Frontier Co-op's first Board of Directors.

  • Purchase 10 acres near Norway, Iowa, and build 22,152 sq. ft. facility.

  • Listed 78th on Inc. magazine's list of "America's Fastest Growing Companies."

  • Establish subsidized on-site childcare and cafeteria.

  • First in the natural products industry to use a natural CO2 fumigation process.

1990

1990
  • Launch line of Frontier Co-op brand bottled spices.

  • Establish tall grass prairie on Norway site.

  • Introduce cryogenic grinding to preserve product quality in processing.

  • Host the first of 13 HerbFest conferences, the country's largest annual conference on herbs and sustainable living.

  • Buy Aura Cacia aromatherapy brand.

  • Implement an in-house Gas Chromatography testing program to ensure essential oil quality.

2000

2000

2010

2010
  • Implement steam sterilization to naturally eliminate pathogens while maintaining product flavor and aroma.

  • Purchase and renovate 100,000 sq. ft. facility in North Liberty.

  • Aura Cacia builds a preschool in Madagascar for supplier community children.

  • With Simply Organic Giving Fund, the Well Earth program builds 49 new wells in the communities supplying our vanilla.

  • Provide 300 dormitory-style bunk beds and school subsidize so Vietnamese children can attend school.

  • Launch first Non-GMO Project Verified products, including the first Non-GMO Verified vanillas available.

  • Simply Organic Giving Fund reaches $1 million in donations supporting organics.

  • Purchase and renovate warehouse facility in Belle Plaine, Iowa.

    Help our Well Earth co-op supplier Fedecovera expand their dental services into a new clinic.

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