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Duck Soup Coup (DeKalb)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Box 5

Box 6 OV

Oversize Drawer 37

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Duck Soup Coup (DeKalb), 1974-2015 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Duck Soup Coup (DeKalb), 1974-2015

ID: RHC/RC/344

Extent: 7.0 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Arrangement is by loosely by record type and then chronological order.

Subjects: Co-operative (co-op), DeKalb (Ill.), Duck Soup Coup

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection contains the business records of the Duck Soup Coup Co-op of DeKalb, IL from 1974-2015, when the store closed. The records consist primarily of the company’s administrative, financial, personnel, and membership records. Also included are meeting minutes, newsletters, and photographs as well as advertising and marketing records and documents regarding business partnerships and example business models from other health food co-op organizations.

Researchers should note the presence of material related to special events, festivals, and fairs from DeKalb, Sycamore, and the surrounding communities, which Duck Soup Coup was highly dedicated to serving.

Collection Historical Note

Founded in 1974 by the restaurant staff of Juicy John Pink’s, Duck Soup Coup was a consumer cooperative, member operated whole foods outlet store that sold natural, organic, and specialty foods and other everyday items. Once a members-only organization, its members voted to open up to the public in 1990. By 1986, Duck Soup Coup grew to be the largest food co-op in the state of Illinois.

Duck Soup Coup, who prided itself on being a mom-and-pop operation, modeled its business structure on a reformed version of the guidelines of the 1844 Rochdale Plan established by the Rochdale Weavers’ Guild in England, which was recognized as the first co-op organization. These principles advocate for a cooperative business that is democratically managed by its working and voluntary members, makes products available in bulk, provides member benefits and discounts, limits store operation expenses to the bare minimum in order to afford additional goods and services to members and customers, and supports continuing education and the overall cooperative movement.

Duck Soup Coup was located at 129 E. Hillcrest Drive for 40 years until the members of the store voted for its closure in the spring of 2015. The Co-op closed due to major fiscal losses occurred in the previous year that led to outstanding debt and the inability to pay for approved loans.

Subject/Index Terms

Co-operative (co-op)
DeKalb (Ill.)
Duck Soup Coup

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Alternate Extent Statement: 6 digital files (909 MB)

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to materials in the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Physical Access Note:

Generic Ads for Northern Star (4), 2004-2005 and Owner Manuals for August 1999 and November 2002 are contained on 3.5" floppy disks (box 4). The files have been copied from the disks to V:\ARCHIVES\RCElectronicArchives\RC 344 Duck Soup Coup. Researchers may access the electronic files in the Center’s reading room.

Duck Soup Coup Spec Tape in the 1996 Adverting folder is on cassette.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6 OV],
[Oversize Drawer 37],

Box 1
Folder 1: Introduction to Duck Soup Coup, Feb-86
Folder 2: By laws, 1976, 1980-1989
Folder 3: Owner Manuals, 1994, 1996-2002
Folder 4: Planning Committee, 1985-1986
Folder 5: Transition, 1987-1989
Folder 6: Transition Committee, 1989
Folder 7-13: Board Minutes, 1987-2015
Folder 14: Board of Director Training
Folder 15: Non-for-Profit Annual Report, State and County, 1989
Folder 16: Future Goals, Priorities, and General Improvement Plans, 1989-1990
Folder 17: Bennis/Nanus Notes
Folder 18: Agreements and Accounts, 1987-1988
Folder 19: Store Lease, March 1990- February 1993
Folder 20: Building Loans, Surveys, and Plans, 2001
Folder 21: Commercial Lease, November, 2003
Folder 22: Legal Documents, GM Evaluation, Letter, and Development, 2006
Folder 23: Manager Contract, Board Member Guide, and Community Consulting Group
Folder 24: League of Women Parliamentary Procedures, 30-Mar-84
Folder 25: Cash Drawer Statements and Company Drafts, 1989
Folder 26: Price Comparisons, 1989
Folder 27: Ledger, Sales and Equity, 1989-1991
Folder 28: Operations and Cash Loans, 1990
Folder 29: Budget, Asset, and Income Statements, 2003-2012
Folder 30: Invoice, Pricing, Receiving, Booking, and Computer Notes
Folder 31: Personnel Manual
Folder 32: Personnel, 1989
Folder 33: Staff Meeting, 14-Feb-89
Folder 34: Member Worker Policy and Contracts
Folder 35: Member Labor Guidelines, 28-Nov-89
Folder 36: Member Labor Information, 1996
Folder 37: Employment Applications
Folder 38: Management, 1985
Folder 39: Manager Evaluation, 1987
Folder 40: Supervisory Skills
Folder 41: Assistant Coordinator Position, 1983
Folder 42: Worker Orientation, 1994-2012
Box 2
Folder 1: Membership Fee Records, 1978-1989
Folder 2-12: Memberships, 1982-1986, 1988-2014
Folder 13: New Members, 1989-2008
Folder 14: Member Orientation, 1989
Folder 15: Committee Membership Lists, 1989-1990
Folder 16: Member Survey Analysis, 1988
Folder 17: Member Equity, 1989-1997, 2008
Folder 18: Member Coupons, 1999, 2002, 2007
Folder 19: Membership Cards
Box 3
Folder 1-2: Membership Cards, 2012-2013
Folder 3: General Meeting Minutes; Agenda Announcements, 1982-1983; 1996-2010
Folder 4: Member Day, 17-Aug-91
Folder 5-13: Newsletters, 1975-1998, 200-2009, 2012, no date
Folder 14: Food Notes, circa 2002
Folder 15: Deli Menus
Folder 16: Item and Price tags
Box A-C: Employee and Membership Cards
Box 4
Folder 1: DSC Cook Book
Folder 2: Recipes
Folder 3: Customer Receipts, 2012
Folder 4: DSC vs. Janet Razbadouski, 1989-1991
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1992-1996
Folder 6: Correspondence and Research, 1998-2009
Folder 7-15: Event Calendars, 2005-2014
Folder 16: Corn and Pumpkin Fest, 1990-1993
Folder 17: Arts and Crafts Sale, 1992-1993, 1997
Folder 18: Alternative Energy Fair, 2003-2005
Folder 19: Renewable Energy Fair, 2007-2009
Folder 20: Soup making instructions
Folder 21: Photographs of storefront construction, circa 1990
Folder 22: Publicity and Merchandising, 1989, 1993, 1997
Folder 23-38: Advertising and Merchansiding, 1994-2013, no date
Folder 39: North Farm, Board of Directors Minutes, 1989-1990
Box 5
Folder 1: North Farm, Finance Committee, 1989
Folder 2: North Farm, Planning Session, 1989
Folder 3: North Farm, Education Committee, 1989
Folder 4: North Farm, Retail Store, 1989-1993
Folder 5: Bloomberg Prairie General Membership Meeting, August 1992-1993
Folder 6: Cooperative Grocer Articles, August 1987-October 1990
Folder 7: Cooperatives information and news, 1989-1991
Folder 8: Co-op America Business Network, 1994-1995
Folder 9: Food Stamp Regulations, 1988
Folder 10: DeKalb County Disposal Rates, 1989-1990
Folder 11: "Health businesses in DeKalb County work to maintain New Year's resolution boon" in Daily Chronicle, 4-Jan-15
Box 6 OV
Item 1: Duck Soup Coup pot holder
Item 2: Duck Soup Coup ceramic plaque
Item 3: Public Auction notice poster
Item 4: "What’s In The Oak Cooler?” sign
Item 5-8: Season’s Greetings posters
Item 9: "What Is Fair Trade?" display poster
Item 10: "Sustainability In The Classroom" poster
Item 11: Duck Soup Coup sign
Oversize Drawer 37
Item 1: Remodel display poster
Item 2: "Health Of People Go Organic" display poster
Folder 1: Certificates (11)

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Box 5],
[Box 6 OV],
[Oversize Drawer 37],

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