Video Clip: Early Buying Clubs

Rezin Adams
Rezin Adams

ALAN MCCLINTOCK: My wife and I were members of…there were four families that were all part of a buying club unit. And we actually used the drop off point at the Willet Street Church.

REZIN ADAMS: Well, there was the collective. The Dove Collective, on the corner of Lancaster and Dove Street. There were various movements, not only the Dove co-op, well, it wasn’t a co-op, it was a food club. (A buying club). You know, everybody got the same. We filled the bags for everybody.

REBEKAH RICE: When those boxes were filled with all the same stuff, what was that stuff? (We had a list and you checked off what you want.) Ok. (And then people would come in and break it down and load in their bags.)

Regina Dew
Regina Dew

REGINA DEW: We were cooperating. We were getting it together. We were putting in orders and divvying them up. That’s how you did it. (That was a lot of work!) Yeah! Had to but the bay leaves in with the grains to keep the bugs out. Figure out how to do those kind of simple things.

REBEKAH: What do you remember getting?


RUSSELL ZIEMBA: A wheel of cheese.

REBEKAH: Well, how much food was there? I mean surely, you guys remember how many wheels of cheese you had to cut and how many 50 pound bags of flour you were measuring out!

ALAN: I just remember it being an awful lot of work. (Laughter)

REZIN: The food club was in my house! It was terrible! People were terrible!

RUSSELL: I think that’s when I met you!

REZIN: Yes! (Much laughter)

RUSSELL: Heeeeyyy!!

REZIN: The phone would ring at 9:00 at night and somebody would say, “Oh, I can’t get here tonight! I’ll come tomorrow!” Or, you know. People didn’t turn up. We got stuck with food!

ALAN: It was a labor of, uh, of love.

REBEKAH: If you got stuck doing it alone, how many hours did it take?

ALAN: We would spend…it, it just seemed like a huge amount of time, Rebekah! (Time passed slower back then!) Yeah!

ALAN: You were constantly checking lists and checking them twice and putting things in boxes for people.

RUSSELL (voice only): Wasn’t it Honest Weight No Springs Co-op for a while?

Marilyn Kaplan
Marilyn Kaplan

MARGARET: It’s absolutely the original name is, the original full name is Honest Weight No Springs. Because that’s what it said on the scale. When we’d stand there and measure everything, we had this big antique scale, and on the top of it, it said Honest Weight No Springs. [truth be told, the scales actually said “No Springs Honest Weight” Ed.]
(I think I can see that scale!) (We still have that scale!)

HOWIE MITTLEMAN: That’s what it said on a lot of scales. (On the face. Yeah!) That’s where the name came from. I mean, that’s why I thought of it. We were grasping at straws. (Yeah)

CHRIS MERCOGLIANO: I love that scale. It was a sweet scale.