Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. was established March 2, 1951, as Teeswater District Co-operative — an independent member-owned co-operative. The Dauphin / Grant feed mill in Teeswater was purchased as the location headquarters. The first Board of Directors were: Harold John McCormick, Robert MacKenzie Aitken, Warner Armitage Smyth, William Thomas Millen, Alvin Albert Thacker, John Alexander Mc Kague, John Wesley Goble—(Farmers) and Everett Elmer Whitehead—(Trucker).
The first Manager was Charles Dauphin followed by Harold Ghent, Alex Miller, Freeman Tunney—from 1954 – 1961, Gordon Perrott was the manager from 1961 – 1985. Jeff Hurst became the General Manager in 1985 – 2019. Kelly Boyle is the current General Manager.
Teeswater District Co-operative originally started off in the feed business and throughout the years has expanded into fertilizer, seed, crop protection products, petroleum as well as farm and consumer hardware supplies.
1978 – the feed mill was destroyed by fire and a decision was made not to replace the mill. A new feed warehouse was constructed and feed manufacturing was contracted out to the new regional feed production unit between Teeswater and Wingham presently owned by Master Feeds –our current feed supplier.
The business was incorporated in 1985.
1993 – In June, Teeswater District Co-operative Inc. purchased four branch locations from United Co-operatives Of Ontario. These Included Mildmay, Belgrave, Auburn and the Crop Production Center at Walkerton.
A full-service Gas Bar was built on #4 highway at the old Co-op coal yard/pork producers yard on the south end of Teeswater.
1999 – Teeswater District Co-operative brought in Grey-Bruce Co-operative Inc. into the business and the name was changed to Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. Teeswater remains the head office for the Co-operative today. Both the Grey-Bruce Co-operative branches and Teeswater Co-op had a solid reputation among the farmers and residents in their respected communities and today as Huron Bay Co-operative remains dominant players in the agricultural, petroleum, and consumer supply areas.
2005 – Huron Bay Co-operative purchased the assets of the Dundalk Branch of Simcoe District Co-operative. These acquisitions allowed Huron Bay Co-op to service North Huron, Bruce and West Grey Counties with branches at Auburn, Belgrave, Teeswater, Mildmay, Walkerton, Chesley, Owen Sound, Wiarton, Markdale, Dundalk and Ferndale. We have four-fertilizer blender operations located at Belgrave, Teeswater, Dundalk and Walkerton. Walkerton also has a fertilizer bagging system. Huron Bay Co-op also has six licensed pesticide storage facilities at the above locations.
2014 – Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. added bulk Propane to the co-operative and at present has two tandem delivery units servicing our trading territory.
Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. has become a major employer with over 130 full and part-time staff in its service geography.
2016 – Huron Bay Co-operative purchased the former Teeswater Grocery store for future development. Also, the Board of Directors approved the construction of new state-of-the-art fertilizer storage and manufacturing plant at our Walkerton Crop Center location.
2017 – Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. entered into a franchise arrangement with ACE Canada to build a new state-of-the-art ACE Country and Garden store in Teeswater and re-brand and re-merchandize all of the other 8 locations to ACE specifications.
2018 – Huron Bay Co-operative purchased the bulk fuel business from Reg Bells fuels in the Walkerton area and added it to our current fuel business. Huron Bay is also completing the construction of the new 7000, tonne fertilizer storage and state-of-the-art blending facility at the Walkerton Crop Centre. This brought the Capital Expenditures to just under $1,900,000.00 during the past fiscal year.
2019 – Was the first spring of operation for the new fertilizer facility in Walkerton. Seeing the details from this year’s performance, the board is confident that this location will provide years of growth and efficient operation for the member-owners. The Co-op spent $1,600,000.00 in capital funds on buildings and rolling stock. Work on the renovation of the head office in Teeswater was started this year.
2020 – Covid-19, provided the staff and management of Huron Bay with some very interesting problems to deal with however, they arose to the occasion and progressed forward. The Head Office renovation in Teeswater was completed during the year, as well as the basement renovation of the Office at the Walkerton Crop Centre. The downstairs facility will house the Energy Division operations staff and will dispatch fuel and propane trucks to the trading area for deliveries. Approximately $1.9 million in capital projects were completed during the year for the members.
2021 – This marks the 70th anniversary of the co-op. This is no small feat, and we thank the member-owners for their continued support and look forward to serving you in the rest of 2021.
Huron Bay Co-operative Inc. is a Member/ Owner of Growmark Inc.— Growmark is a large regional co-operative situated in the U.S. supplying agronomy inputs and petroleum products to its membership throughout the United States and Ontario.