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History

The origins. The Coop-erativa di Cortina was the first consumer cooperative in the whole of South Tyrol. According to the Bolzano Chamber of Commerce reg-ister of new companies, the Cooperativa was founded in 1893, where it was registered on 28 June under the name “Consumverein Ampezzo”. The date says much for the spirit of enterprise in Cortina at that time, when the town had about 3,000 residents and belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Em-pire. In earlier centuries, the solidarity characteristic of mountain dwellers took the form of the “fóntego”, a store created by the municipal au-thority to supply the basic ne-cessities for farming, livestock breeding and everyday life at cost price, and sometimes with-out charge to those in need. However, the fóntego closed in 1888. It was primarily the need for an establishment with a similar price-stabilising func-tion that drove twenty-five en-terprising founders to set up the Società Cooperative five years later. It was prudence suggested by experience that led to the foundation of the Cooperativa, an institution that over time would become an integral part of the Ampezzo community and whose history is intimately bound up with the valley’s social, economic and tourism-related development. In the early days, the Coopera-tiva was a humble warehouse at Pontechiesa, open for only a few hours a week on Sun-days and Wednesday mornings. There was just one employee. Goods on sale included wheat, maize, flour and fabrics but later, salt, oil, cooking oil, leather and hardware would be added to the list.
The social role. The purpose of the Cooperativa is crystal-clear in its original articles of as-sociation. The new enterprise set out to operate on behalf of members, their families, craft workers and farmers by se-curing benefits, comforts and savings. Ampezzo valley resi-dents were inspired to set up a consumer co-operative and savings bank by Fr Giuseppe Dasser, who also founded the Schola Cantorum and in 1889 established South Tyrol’s first savings bank at Rina di Mareb-be. Another priest, Fr Alfonso Videsott, was elected as the Cooperativa d’Ampezzo’s chair. The same social function, albeit one that has adapted to chang-ing times, is still very evident in the current articles of associa-tion, which state that the Coop-erativa sets out to “sell and ac-quire goods and services in the manner most advantageous for members, and to improve their material and moral condition”.

Swift success. By March 1895, there were already 184 members. The Cooperativa’s early success led to the purchase of premises on Cortina’s main street – Corso Italia today –opposite the Bezirkshaupt-mannschaft, or subprefecture, now the town hall. Opening hours were extended, the first shop assistant was hired and the range of products was broadened to include sickles, rope, pasta, rice, coffee, wal-nuts, chocolate and wine. In the 1920s, there were 600 mem-bers. Almost every family in Ampezzo had signed up. Even during the First World War, the Cooperative managed to guar-antee supplies for the popula-tion, easing the difficulties of that terrible period substan-tially, and played the same role during the Second World War.
 
Recent developments. The Co-operativa’s premises have been extended on several occasions. Restructuring in the 1930s was followed by the opening of a butchery department in the 1950s and in 1956, the year of the Cortina Winter Olympics, a food outlet was added. In the 1960s, it was the turn of the bakery and the dairy. The current premises were completed in 1974 after seven years of hard work and the total sales area rose to 4,000 square me-tres. But service to residents and tourists continued to diver-sify. Other new additions were the Centro Casa and discount food outlet at Pian da Lago, and the Op!cortina, Stock House, The North Face, Gant, clothing, footwear and sports accesso-ries stores, all in Corso Italia. The Cooperativa purchased the former Morotto ski factory in the Fiames sports area, com-plete with sports clothing and equipment outlet and ski and mountain bike hire, and later on the historic Concordia Parc Ho-tel adjacent to the Cooperativa was acquired. Outside Cortina at La Villa in Val Badia, the Cooperativa and its local partners manage the leading Sport Tony sales com-plex offering sports equipment, clothing, food, a bookshop and a newsstand.
 
 
Contact LA COOPERATIVA DI CORTINA - soc. coop. Corso Italia, 4032043 Cortina d´AmpezzoBL (I) Phone +39 0436 86 12 45Fax +39 0436 86 13 00 E-Mail: PEC: 
La Cooperativa di Cortina
Opening hours
 
Weekdays: 8:30 - 12:30 & 15:30 - 19:30
Wednesday afternoon: closed
Sunday: closed
   
       
      
 
 
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