A Co=Op Changed My Life

August 30, 2023

No, not coop, co-op.

So what is a co-op?



In Ron’s case, we are talking about a purchasing co-op, a form of

co-op very popular in the Depression, where people join together through paid memberships to allow for the purchase of goods at fair prices and for members to receive part of the co-op earnings back as participation dividends.

In Ron’s case the co-op we are talking about is Recreational Equipment Inc. or REI as many of us know it today.




REI started back in 1938 in Seattle when avid outdoor enthusiasts Mary and Lloyd Anderson couldn’t find good ice axes at a fair price.

Mary discovered she could purchase at far better prices by translating German outdoors catalogs and then purchasing by mail directly from Germany.

The Andersons recruited 21 outdoors friends to form the Recreational Equipment, Inc Co-Op run for many years out of their house in West Seattle. The initial members paid $1 for a lifetime membership, were able to get great deals on their outdoor equipment needs and got part of the profits back based on the volume of their purchases.


Over the ensuing decades, their business grew to fill a warehouse building on the edge of downtown Seattle. By 1960, there were 20,000 members. By 1970, close to 200,000 members, with the warehouse and a downtown storefront.


Enter Ron, a southern Illinois flatlander who arrived in Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington in the early 1970s, and whose only outdoor experience was walking five miles from his grandma’s to home on surface streets to qualify for a Boy Scout merit badge.

On an early reconnaissance of downtown Seattle, he spotted Recreational Equipment on the second floor of one of the retail buildings and climbed the steps up. The second floor held the REI store and an office of The Mountaineers, the preeminent outdoors club in the Northwest.

On that fateful Saturday afternoon, he purchased an REI membership and signed up with the Mountaineers for a hike in the local mountains the next day.



After that, life changed. Ron lost his flatlander moniker and incorporated recreational exercise into his lifestyle. REI continued to grow from 200,000 members based in one city to 23 million members and 181 destination stores in 42 states and internationally today.

Good nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

Regular exercise, recreational or purposeful, is a necessary complement for optimal health (unless it’s skydiving).

Good nutrition + regular exercise = best chance for an extended satisfying life.


10 Parts of Fruits and Veggies You Didn’t Know You Could Eat!


Plant-based diets have many health benefits and tend to be better for the planet compared with diets that are heavy on meat, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But there is one area where produce lovers could take a tip from carnivores: reducing food waste.

An astonishing 30 to 40 percent of the nation’s food supply goes to waste, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you think about it, there are plenty of perfectly good produce parts we hack off and throw out for no good reason. (With Juice Plus+, we use all of the fruit or vegetable, so there is minimal waste)





Healthy Snacking

Looking for healthy snacks that you can throw in your gym bag, beach bag or car? Look no further than our Juice Plus+ Bars, single-serving Complete and Chewables!



Summer Recipes






Get the Most Out of Your Exercise with Bemer Microcirculation


The REI Co-Op got Ron started. In recent years, the Bemer came along.

Good nutrition + regular exercise + Bemer microcirculation = improved overall wellbeing and better sleep.