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Kaupfélag Þingeyingar First Co-Operative in Iceland

The first co-operative in Iceland was founded on 20. February 1882 close to Húsavík, precisely at Þverá in Laxárdalur valley. The co-operative brought many changes and innovations to Húsavík and surrounding and played an important role in the development of the area. Not only did they revolutionize the way of trading and supply of goods, they also stood for many unseen novelties.

Just to mention a few achievements, the Co-op brought the first typewriter to town, imported the first trucks, built the first power station in the area, were involved in the wool production and founded a bank.

Guests enjoying the sunshine at Salka restaurant
The building of the first Co-operative store in Húsavík

Nowadays two buildings in the centre of town give Húsavík a distinct look and tell the story of the oldest Co-operative in Iceland. Restaurant Salka is located in the first co-operative store in Húsavík. The big windows at the entrance were once the place to go to for window-shopping.

Later one the largest building right on the other side of the street was erected and functioned as headquarter of the Co-operative. Even though Kaupfélag Þingeyingar stopped operating some years ago, the building is still referred to as “Gamla Kaupfélagshúsið” or ‘old Co-op-house’.

A special section about Kaupfélag Þingeyingar at the Húsavík Museum tells more about the Co-op and it’s effect on the area.