The Coop: History
Students and parents enjoying refreshments in the snack bar called "The Coop", ca. 1955. Courtesy of Haverford College Special Collections.
The first incarnation of the Coop was called the Cellar and was located in the basement of Union building. It was known to be rather dank and damp in that basement but many a pleasant night was spent drinking coffee and discussing the issues of the day. The next incarnation was in the basement of Founders. This was run by a rather short-tempered but beloved fellow named Herr Frey. It is possible that it was at this time the name became the Coop, though this is by no means clear. We fast forward to the 60's when the new dining center was built.
The Coop left its spot at Founders and once again became a basement dweller, this time in the new dining center. At this point greedy corporations controlled the dining services and while the Coop existed as a good place to hang out, it was not a good place to eat. In 1985 a student took it upon himself to ease the pain of after hours campus hunger and founded the beloved "Skeeters Pizza". Once again the basement proves itself to be the spawning ground for greatness. In this case the basement of Leeds was the fertile ground for a seed of hope.
In 1989 the college ousted the corporate despots and hired their own people to run the food services. This is a turning point in Skeeters' as well as the Coop's history. With new Coop management came new ideas and a new atmosphere. In 1994 a new campus center was built and it was at this moment that both the Coop and Skeeters finally could bask in the full light of day. Both entities moved into the new campus center and flourished. In 1995 the two became one and looked to a bright future together. And most recently, in the summer of 2006, The Coop underwent an extreme makeover, including a brand new servery, new menu, expanded seating and full coffee bar. Skeeters is now fully integrated into the Coop and the two operations act together to serve the student population 7 days a week throughout the academic year.