Our heritage In this section International Women's Day Our co-op today -- Co-op Loan Fund -- Things we're proud of -- Sustainability -- Annual Report and Accounts -- Policies and Rules -- Gender Pay Reporting -- Armed Forces Covenant Our heritage Board and Leadership Team -- Board of Directors -- Leadership Team Responsible business -- Our colleagues -- Our communities -- Our environment -- Our members -- Our policies -- Our products -- Why we do what we do We can trace our roots back to one of the first ever co-ops in our region. Founded in Colchester in 1861, local people came together to set up a shop selling quality food at affordable prices – the very thing their community needed, but until then weren’t always able to get. In fact, we can even go back further than that, with early co-ops starting in Ipswich in the 1840s, These early attempts to bring co-operation to our heartland weren’t successful, but it does mean it’s safe to say that co-operation has been alive and well across our region for over 150 years. Some photos from our archives 1 of 6 2 of 6 3 of 6 4 of 6 5 of 6 6 of 6 Got a co-op memory? We're collecting stories of our history across the region. If you've got a memory of the co-op in your community, we'd love it if you could share it with us. Share your co-op memory Early co-operators in our region Co-operation has been alive and well in our region for over 150 years. These three gentlemen were, amongst others, some of the earliest co-operators in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and our co-op today is directly linked to their pioneering work. George Hines George Hines Secretary of Ipswich Co-op 1869–1873 John Castle John Castle Founder of Colchester Co-op in 1861 J.T. Gee J.T. Gee Made Permanent Secretary of Norwich Co-op in 1884 .