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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 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

Browse by Box:

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

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