Not Your Grandparents’ Co-op, Or Are We?

The Next Generation

Our storied old business has been running a unique ad campaign lately, one that features a couple of fetching older folks with a lot of spunk and vitality despite their somewhat-advancing years. The crux of the message behind it all is this:

Not Your Grandpas Co-op

What’s that mean? We admit the tagline is intentionally thought-provoking. It points to the fact that we’re building something new while still sticking to our roots.

To some, we’re an Upper Valley institution with ties to Dartmouth that goes back nearly 90 years. To others, we’re a typical co-op, or at least we should be: distinctive, maybe even a little weird sometimes, progressive, forward-thinking, and full of unique characters.

Take the ad’s grand pooh-bah, for one random example. Dawn Archambault is the Co-op’s marketing and community relations director. An Upper Valley native, she shopped at the Co-op with her family growing up, and she’s passionate about linking our cooperative’s history with who we are now. The whole ad campaign was her brainchild.

When I’m around Dawn I feel like there’s some magic pixie dust floating in the air and she can always see it and she wants the rest of us to see it, too. She likes coloring books and making random 80s references and often writes (and even thinks) in run-on sentences. This week, she was recognized for her unique approach to life and the world around her, honored with the Young Professional of the Year Award by the Upper Valley Business Alliance.

Long before Dawn came to the Co-op, she founded a creative firm that was solely focused on helping small local businesses. She organized Small Business Saturday to highlight local businesses at the holiday season. She supported local high school seniors during the pandemic, recognizing them by creating yard signs and other visuals for their families pro bono. She’s a member of the Enfield Village Association Board, chair of the events committee, organizes Hometown Holidays, and—our favorite—plays Mrs. Claus every year at the Enfield town tree lighting. She even created the mailbox local kids use to send letters to Santa. She responds personally to each and every letter.

At our co-op, this sort of heart for the community is pretty typical. Dawn is a prime example of how the organization is special because so many people who work here and shop here are special.

If anything represents the bridge of the Co-op of old to the Co-op of new, it’s community-minded people.

We know we’re not your grandparent’s co-op in some respects, but we also want you to know that in many respects, we still are. Certainly when it comes to the amazing people who make up this cooperative business, some things never change …

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Ken Davis

Ken Davis is the Co-op's senior copywriter. Email him at