Northern Star Cooperative Services opened its doors in 1922 as the Farmers Exchange. Its goal was to provide farmers with reasonable, reliable prices on items needed for their farming needs. In March of 1932 the company filed for incorporation as a Cooperative. Thus, became the Farmers' Cooperative Exchange. The cooperative continued to grow through the years and expand throughout the northland, in 1999 the name was changed to Northern Star Cooperative Services.
The same men that went together to file for Incorporation with the Farmers Exchange in 1932 became the first Board of Directors for the new cooperative. They were Walter Gaslin (President), Ed Erickson (Vice President), Charles Mostoller (Secretary/Treasurer), John Olson and John Luko. The first year as the Farmers' Cooperative Exchange proved to be a successful one as was told at their first annual meeting on September 21, 1934. Sales for the year were $34,251.23, giving the Company a net profit for the period of $1517.11. The company had also built their total assets up to $13,704.81.
The Northern Star Cooperative has continued to grow throughout the years. The cooperative has spent several million dollars in expansion and improvements over the past 20 years with little or no borrowed money needed. Some of the more current expansions are:
1990- Purchase of the Hill City propane business
1992- The new Deer River Convenience Store was constructed where the current office is today and opened in December. This decision too, was controversial among the membership. Questions like, “Why do we need a huge building like that just to sell fuel?” were prevalent.
1992- Purchase of Northome LP propane business
1993- The company’s annual sales surpassed $7,000,000 for the first time. Total company assets were now $3,628,000.
1995- Purchase of the Pine River and Walker propane businesses.
1999- The name of the cooperative was changed to Northern Star Cooperative Services in an effort to reflect the fact that the co-op was now doing more non-farm business than farm business.
2001- Purchase of Long Prairie propane business
2006- Purchase of Backus Bulk Plant and Remer Junction C-store
2007- Purchase of the Long Prairie Convenience Store and entry into transport business.
2008- Purchase of Bigfork Bulk plant
2009- Purchase of Littlefork propane business
2014- Increase Propane Storage and Railcar Unloading Capacity
2016- Constructed new Deer River Convenience Store
2017- Remodeled former C-Store to Main Office facility and remodeled Remer Junction
2018- Remodeled former grocery store to Market Place
2020- Entered into Paul Bunyan Natural Gas joint venture in Walker
2022- Constructed new convenience store in Grand Rapids.