The Tignish Co-op

     The Tignish Co-op first began with the help of the Tignish Fishermen's Union in 1937 when they sponsered a buying club. Management was given to Gerald Handrahan. The buying club was used to prepare bulk orders of such things as flour, molasses, and sugar; enabling members to save money.

     By 1938 the store advanced to selling such things as potatoes, lime and fertilizer. When the Tignish Credit Union moved to an old shoemakers's shop, the store moved along with it. They then moved to an old run down store located in the village. This old building managed to last until the year 1940.

     In 1940 a new building that was located on Church Street was constructed. This building held two different stories; the store in the first floor, and the Tignish Credit Union on the second. In 1943 members received their Co-op charter for the store, and in the mean time the store continued to grow even larger.

     As the store grew they continued to only sell dried goods and groceries. Most people would do their grocery shopping on Saturday. Back then the store was not self serve so it was a lot more work for the clerks. They had to wait behind the counter for customers and hand over the items they needed. The clerks would tend to work on Saturdays from 6am-11pm.

     In 1954 the members bought out Morris Bernard's store which dealt with most of the village businesses. This building was used to set up the first co-operative drug store located in Canada, along with continuing to sell basic groceries. However, the drug store ended up closing early in the year 1957.


     In 1959 the grocery store was switched to self serve and life became a lot easier for the clerks. Finally, in 1969 the new and current Co-op store was constructed. Renovations were constructed in 1980 to allow even more room for such things as furniture.

     In previous day the Tignish Co-op continues to grow even bigger and better. They even have a seperate building located in Tignish for hardware supplies only and a convenience store/gas station located directly in front of the grocery store! The Tignish Co-op is a true representation of a community, and just how strong their bond can be.


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