Our Progress

260,000
Dollars Invested in Expansion Out of
2,000,000

Our Progress

260,000
Dollars Invested in Expansion Out of
2,000,000

Grow Your Co-op

As of September 12th, the merger of Just Local Food Co-op and Menomonie Market Food Co-op into one organization has passed with both ownerships voting 95% in favor. Now that the election has ended, the newly combined board of directors and staff at both stores will be working to merge operations over the next few months. This will include rebranding the Eau Claire store, as well as upgrading technology at both locations so the buying and receiving of products can be streamlined and many of Eau Claire’s prices can be lowered to match Menomonie’s. The goal is to have this work completed by early 2022, and any changes that will affect shoppers will be communicated via direct mail or email as decisions are made.

If you have questions regarding the merger, send an email to info@mmfc.coop, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Merger Has Passed

As of September 12th, the merger of Just Local Food Co-op and Menomonie Market Food Co-op into one organization has passed with both ownerships voting 95% in favor. Now that the election has ended, the newly combined board of directors and staff at both stores will be working to merge operations over the next few months. This will include rebranding the Eau Claire store, as well as upgrading technology at both locations so the buying and receiving of products can be streamlined and many of Eau Claire’s prices can be lowered to match Menomonie’s. The goal is to have this work completed by early 2022, and any changes that will affect shoppers will be communicated via direct mail or email as decisions are made.

If you have questions regarding the merger, send an email to info@mmfc.coop, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Grow Your Co-op

We’re building a bigger Eau Claire store! A purchase agreement for the downtown property known as City Lot 7 on the corner of Barstow and Galloway Streets has been secured, and store plans will be finalized in the coming months. Now owners are invited to invest to help us finance the building and start construction this fall.

Features of the new 14,000 sq. ft. location will include:

More Products & Parking

The new location will have an expanded produce department with more local offerings year round, a fresh meat section, increased dairy and refrigerated space, a bigger deli, a self-checkout area, and about fifty parking spaces.

Indoor Seating

In addition to more ready-to-heat options, the deli will offer hot food all day, and the bigger store will include indoor seating areas on the first and second stories of the building so you can enjoy your meal on-site.

Rooftop Event Space

The new building will also have a private indoor/outdoor space on the second story that will have rooftop access and be available to the community to rent for classes, meetings, and other events when not in use by our co-op.

To make our ownership’s vision a reality, we must raise $2,000,000 in preferred shares by August. Our board has made 4,000 preferred shares available for owners to purchase for $500 each with potential annual dividends of 2.25%-3.75%. Owners interested in investing may request more information now by filling out the form below.

Grow Your Co-op

Our Progress

260,000
Dollars Invested in Expansion Out of
2,000,000

Our Progress

260,000
Invested Out of
2,000,000

We’re building a bigger Eau Claire store! A purchase agreement for the downtown property known as City Lot 7 on the corner of Barstow and Galloway Streets has been secured, and store plans will be finalized in the coming months. Now owners are invited to invest to help us finance the building and start construction this fall.

Features of the new 14,000 sq. ft. location will include:

More Products & Parking

The new location will have an expanded produce department with more local offerings year round, a fresh meat section, increased dairy and refrigerated space, a bigger deli, a self-checkout area, and about fifty parking spaces.

Indoor Seating

In addition to more ready-to-heat options, the deli will offer hot food all day, and the bigger store will include indoor seating areas on the first and second stories of the building so you can enjoy your meal on-site.

Rooftop Event Space

The new building will also have a private indoor/outdoor space on the second story that will have rooftop access and be available to the community to rent for classes, meetings, and other events when not in use by our co-op.

To make our ownership’s vision a reality, we must raise $2,000,000 in preferred shares by August. Our board has made 4,000 preferred shares available for owners to purchase for $500 each with potential annual dividends of 2.25%-3.75%. Owners interested in investing may request more information now by filling out the form below.

A Letter from our General Manager

Dear MMFC owners,

The Board of Directors and staff of Menomonie Market Food Co-op (MMFC) are proud to announce that your co-op is expanding! MMFC has secured a purchase agreement for a new store at the downtown property currently known as City Lot 7 on Barstow and Galloway Streets. The new retail property will serve as the home for our expanded retail store, projected to open in 2023.

For the past several years the board and management have worked on a plan for future growth and success. The cooperative has already accomplished amazing things over the last half-century in the Chippewa Valley: the co-op currently owns a beautiful property and retail operation in Menomonie, and we are looking to bring the same amenities and permanence to our co-op in downtown Eau Claire.

Now is the time to ask for your help in making this expansion a reality. One of the crucial pieces of the success of this endeavor will be our ability to demonstrate the financial commitment of our owners to financiers. Co-ops are unique in their ability to sell Class C stock to their owners—stock created for raising capital that pays interest and allows owners to make longer-term investments in the sustainable growth of their store. MMFC is offering you a chance to make a local investment, the benefit of which will be visible every day in Eau Claire.

We must raise $2,000,000 in preferred shares by August to make this vision a reality. The MMFC Board has declared an offering of up to 4,000 in Class C stock certificates, sold in $500 shares, for purchase by owners who live in the state of Wisconsin. Shares will earn an interest rate of 2.25%-3.75%: higher than low-risk investments (e.g., Certificate of Deposit or government bonds) but lower than the rate that MMFC would pay a bank for the same money: a win-win for both parties.

Are you already sure you would like to learn more? Please be in touch with us! We are 4,500 owners strong, and though we will make our best efforts to be in touch with all of you, we are relying on you telling us about your interest. We hope you’ll agree that the payback is not only financial, but a more connected, vibrant downtown Eau Claire, more great co-op jobs, more local food, and more cooperative community.

Yours in cooperation,

Crystal Halvorson

A Letter from our GM

Dear MMFC owners,

The Board of Directors and staff of Menomonie Market Food Co-op (MMFC) are proud to announce that your co-op is expanding! MMFC has secured a purchase agreement for a new store at the downtown property currently known as City Lot 7 on Barstow and Galloway Streets. The new retail property will serve as the home for our expanded retail store, projected to open in 2023.

For the past several years the board and management have worked on a plan for future growth and success. The cooperative has already accomplished amazing things over the last half-century in the Chippewa Valley: the co-op currently owns a beautiful property and retail operation in Menomonie, and we are looking to bring the same amenities and permanence to our co-op in downtown Eau Claire.

Now is the time to ask for your help in making this expansion a reality. One of the crucial pieces of the success of this endeavor will be our ability to demonstrate the financial commitment of our owners to financiers. Co-ops are unique in their ability to sell Class C stock to their owners—stock created for raising capital that pays interest and allows owners to make longer-term investments in the sustainable growth of their store. MMFC is offering you a chance to make a local investment, the benefit of which will be visible every day in Eau Claire.

We must raise $2,000,000 in preferred shares by August to make this vision a reality. The MMFC Board has declared an offering of up to 4,000 in Class C stock certificates, sold in $500 shares, for purchase by owners who live in the state of Wisconsin. Shares will earn an interest rate of 2.25%-3.75%: higher than low-risk investments (e.g., Certificate of Deposit or government bonds) but lower than the rate that MMFC would pay a bank for the same money: a win-win for both parties.

Are you already sure you would like to learn more? Please be in touch with us! We are 4,500 owners strong, and though we will make our best efforts to be in touch with all of you, we are relying on you telling us about your interest. We hope you’ll agree that the payback is not only financial, but a more connected, vibrant downtown Eau Claire, more great co-op jobs, more local food, and more cooperative community.

Yours in cooperation,

Crystal Halvorson

Investment Information

About Preferred Shares

Menomonie Market Food Co-op preferred shares are dividend-bearing investments called Class C Shares that are available to owners. They are not donations.

• Class C Shares pay a dividend based on the size of the investment, not how often you shop at the co-op throughout the year.

• Class C Share purchases are voluntary investments made at each owner’s discretion. No owner is required to purchase preferred shares as a condition of ownership of the co-op.

• Class C Shares carry no voting rights.

This offering provides owners who live in Wisconsin the opportunity to invest funds in our local business and earn a competitive return on their investment. And our co-op benefits by lowering financing costs; dividend rates paid on preferred shares are lower than interest rates we would pay on bank loans.

How Owners Can Invest

To start construction on the new store, we must raise $2,000,000 in preferred shares by August. In addition to money raised by selling these shares to owners, the remaining funding for the building will follow the same strategy as our 2015 expansion in Menomonie, drawing on bank loans, grant award income, and savings.

Our board of directors has made 4,000 preferred shares available for purchase at $500 each to owners who are in good standing and live in the state of Wisconsin. Potential dividend rates will range from 2.25%-3.75% depending on the number of shares purchased.

If you meet the requirements and are interested in investing in preferred shares to help fund this project, submit a request that we contact you about investing via the contact form on this page. A staff member will then reach out via email or phone call.

Investment Information

About Preferred Shares
Menomonie Market Food Co-op preferred shares are dividend-bearing investments called Class C Shares that are available to owners. They are not donations.

• Class C Shares pay a dividend based on the size of the investment, not how often you shop at the co-op throughout the year.

• Class C Share purchases are voluntary investments made at each owner’s discretion. No owner is required to purchase preferred shares as a condition of ownership of the co-op.

• Class C Shares carry no voting rights.

This offering provides owners who live in Wisconsin the opportunity to invest funds in our local business and earn a competitive return on their investment. And our co-op benefits by lowering financing costs; dividend rates paid on preferred shares are lower than interest rates we would pay on bank loans.

How Owners Can Invest
To start construction on the new store, we must raise $2,000,000 in preferred shares by August. In addition to money raised by selling these shares to owners, the remaining funding for the building will follow the same strategy as our 2015 expansion in Menomonie, drawing on bank loans, grant award income, and savings.

Our board of directors has made 4,000 preferred shares available for purchase at $500 each to owners who are in good standing and live in the state of Wisconsin. Potential dividend rates will range from 2.25%-3.75% depending on the number of shares purchased.

If you meet the requirements and are interested in investing in preferred shares to help fund this project, submit a request that we contact you about investing via the contact form on this page. A staff member will then reach out via email or phone call.

Documents

Click the buttons to download digital copies of the Voter Guide as well as all of the other merger documents that have been signed and/or approved by both boards.

Documents

Click the links to download digital copies of the Voter Guide as well as all of the other merger documents that have been signed and approved by the boards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Merger

When did JLF and MMFC start considering a merger?

The boards of both co-ops have explored the possibility of merging several times over the years, with this instance beginning in October of 2019. Find a timeline of cooperation in the Election Voter Guide to learn more.

What did the boards decide?

After close to two years of hard work, both boards came to the conclusion that JLF and MMFC would be stronger as one cooperative and have signed a Merger Agreement. Now they are presenting the question of whether or not the co-ops should merge to both ownerships so they may vote yes.

What changes will happen if JLF and MMFC merge?

Should the ownerships of both co-ops vote yes, the merger will close within a few months, and both co-ops will become one entity with one combined board and ownership. Shoppers at JLF will also immediately gain new services and programs offered by MMFC, including a more powerful POS system, eCommerce, Double Dollars, Round Up for Good, Meet The Locals, and more. For both boards’ vision of a combined co-op, see the Election Voter Guide.

What will happen to prices at both co-ops?

Because the unified co-op will be larger, it will have more buying power than each had separately. This will result in our ability to lower prices in many instances.

Will product selections be the same?

Yes. Although there may be a few changes at both stores, their product selections will largely remain the same so they can continue serving the needs of their unique communities.

When will changes take effect?

The boards hope to have the merger closed by December 2021, which means most changes will take effect in January 2022 and in the months after.

When is the election?

(Updated) The voting period begins at 8:00am on Sunday, August 29, 2021 and concludes at midnight on Sunday, September 12, 2021. Voting will take place electronically. Our electronic ballots are verified by Election Runner, a secure third-party audited website.

Who can vote in the election?

Anyone who is an active owner of JLF and/or MMFC on July 21, 2021, when the Merger Agreement was put into place, may cast a vote. 1,472 JLF owners and 2,938 MMFC owners are eligible to vote. The name listed on the back cover of the mailed vote guide is the owner eligible to vote. If you are an owner of both co-ops, you may cast a vote at each co-op for which you hold a valid membership.

On what will I be voting?

The boards have finalized the merger as of July 21, 2021. That includes the new board structure, all merger documents, and the vision for the new co-op’s next five years. All owners will be asked to provide is a yes or no vote on whether the co-ops should merge. Both boards unanimously recommend a YES vote.

How do I vote?

Come back to this web page to access the link to the secure voting website once the election starts at 3:00pm on August 29, 2021. You will be asked to submit your owner number. You will also enter your first name exactly as it appears on the back cover of the mailed voter guide; if your name is misspelled on the mailing label, please enter it misspelled. You can also vote at the Annual Owner Meeting. Online voting must be completed by Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 5:00pm.

When will the election results be announced?

The results of the merger election will be announced after voting ends at the MMFC Annual Owner Meeting.

How can I learn more?

The boards have provided all of the necessary information regarding the merger in the Election Voter Guide that was mailed to all active owners of both co-ops and on this web page, and they are hosting several meetings in August at which owners can learn more. Find links to these materials and the list of events above.

What if I have questions or feedback?

You can submit questions or feedback about the merger by scrolling to the bottom of this page and filling out the form.

Ownership

What will happen if I’m an owner at both stores and the merger passes?

Owners of JLF will automatically become owners of MMFC upon merger. Throughout their histories, MMFC owners have invested $100 in ownership equity while JLF owners have invested $150. At merger, all equity of all JLF owners will become equity in MMFC in the form of Class A and Class B shares. JLF owners will simply have more investment in the co-op and be eligible to receive that full amount back should they request to leave ownership. People that are owners at both co-ops will have their total investment accounted for on the co-op’s books, but like all other owners they will only receive one vote in elections after merger. After merger, the Board of Directors may decide to repurchase these normalizing shares and refund extra equity. After merger, people applying for ownership to the co-op will be asked to invest $100.

Will my owner number change?

We don’t know yet. An announcement about owner numbers will be shared if the merger passes.

Will I be able to use my owner number at both locations?

Yes, once owner numbers are finalized, you will be able to use the same number at both stores.

Will my owner benefits change?

We haven’t ironed out the details for owner benefits yet, but they will largely remain the same. Owner discounts will still be offered, for example; how we will offer them will be shared at a later date.

Can I still attend board meetings?

Absolutely. Should the merger pass, all owners are welcome (and encouraged) to attend meetings held by the new board.

Can I become an owner to vote on merger?

Only owners who joined on or before July 21st, 2021 are eligible to vote on merger.

Vision

What will happen to the brands?

JLF and MMFC will become one co-op under the MMFC brand. See the Election Voter Guide for more information on how the boards made this decision.

What will the new board structure be?

The new co-op will begin with an initial board of nine directors, composed of five directors from MMFC and four directors from JLF. Over the next two election cycles, one board seat will be vacated until we arrive back at a seven-member board. Elections will be held according to the Bylaws proposed as part of this merger agreement, with approximately 1/3 of the board being elected in a given year. The board members are listed in the Election Voter Guide.

How will staff be affected?

There will be no staff layoffs as a result of the Merger. There may be restructuring of roles and duties to best use skills and fulfill desires, but all staff will remain employed and maintain their current or higher rate of pay. We believe there will be more opportunity for advancement to new or expanded roles, and opportunities to increase both pay and benefits across all levels in the organization. Our staff are crucial partners, and we want to continue that partnership as we shape the next chapter.

How will you continue supporting local suppliers?

Both co-ops have historically been big supporters of local growers, producers, and processors. This will not change. Our goal is that 37% of our product selection at both co-ops be locally sourced by 2026.

Will Eau Claire get a bigger location?

The boards and staff intend to expand the Eau Claire location by 2026. Merger positions our combined co-op to be ready for this. If we are ready to take on this opportunity before another grocer does, it is easy to imagine our total sales across both locations doubling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Merger

When did JLF and MMFC start considering a merger?

The boards of both co-ops have explored the possibility of merging several times over the years, with this instance beginning in October of 2019. Find a timeline of cooperation in the Election Voter Guide to learn more.

What did the boards decide?

After close to two years of hard work, both boards came to the conclusion that JLF and MMFC would be stronger as one cooperative and have signed a Merger Agreement. Now they are presenting the question of whether or not the co-ops should merge to both ownerships so they may vote yes.

What changes will happen if JLF and MMFC merge?

Should the ownerships of both co-ops vote yes, the merger will close within a few months, and both co-ops will become one entity with one combined board and ownership. Shoppers at JLF will also immediately gain new services and programs offered by MMFC, including a more powerful POS system, eCommerce, Double Dollars, Round Up for Good, Meet The Locals, and more. For both boards’ vision of a combined co-op, see the Election Voter Guide.

What will happen to prices at both co-ops?

Because the unified co-op will be larger, it will have more buying power than each had separately. This will result in our ability to lower prices in many instances.

Will product selections be the same?

Yes. Although there may be a few changes at both stores, their product selections will largely remain the same so they can continue serving the needs of their unique communities.

When will changes take effect?

The boards hope to have the merger closed by December 2021, which means most changes will take effect in January 2022 and in the months after.

When is the election?

(Updated) The voting period begins at 8:00am on Sunday, August 29, 2021 and concludes at midnight on Sunday, September 12, 2021. Voting will take place electronically. Our electronic ballots are verified by Election Runner, a secure third-party audited website.

Who can vote in the election?

Anyone who is an active owner of JLF and/or MMFC on July 21, 2021, when the Merger Agreement was put into place, may cast a vote. 1,472 JLF owners and 2,938 MMFC owners are eligible to vote. The name listed on the back cover of the mailed vote guide is the owner eligible to vote. If you are an owner of both co-ops, you may cast a vote at each co-op for which you hold a valid membership.

On what will I be voting?

The boards have finalized the merger as of July 21, 2021. That includes the new board structure, all merger documents, and the vision for the new co-op’s next five years. All owners will be asked to provide is a yes or no vote on whether the co-ops should merge. Both boards unanimously recommend a YES vote.

How do I vote?

Come back to this web page to access the link to the secure voting website once the election starts at 3:00pm on August 29, 2021. You will be asked to submit your owner number. You will also enter your first name exactly as it appears on the back cover of the mailed voter guide; if your name is misspelled on the mailing label, please enter it misspelled. You can also vote at the Annual Owner Meeting. Online voting must be completed by Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 5:00pm.

When will the election results be announced?

The results of the merger election will be announced after voting ends at the MMFC Annual Owner Meeting.

How can I learn more?

The boards have provided all of the necessary information regarding the merger in the Election Voter Guide that was mailed to all active owners of both co-ops and on this web page, and they are hosting several meetings in August at which owners can learn more. Find links to these materials and the list of events above.

What if I have questions or feedback?

You can submit questions or feedback about the merger by scrolling to the bottom of this page and filling out the form.

Ownership

What will happen if I’m an owner at both stores and the merger passes?

Owners of JLF will automatically become owners of MMFC upon merger. Throughout their histories, MMFC owners have invested $100 in ownership equity while JLF owners have invested $150. At merger, all equity of all JLF owners will become equity in MMFC in the form of Class A and Class B shares. JLF owners will simply have more investment in the co-op and be eligible to receive that full amount back should they request to leave ownership. People that are owners at both co-ops will have their total investment accounted for on the co-op’s books, but like all other owners they will only receive one vote in elections after merger. After merger, the Board of Directors may decide to repurchase these normalizing shares and refund extra equity. After merger, people applying for ownership to the co-op will be asked to invest $100.

Will my owner number change?

We don’t know yet. An announcement about owner numbers will be shared if the merger passes.

Will I be able to use my owner number at both locations?

Yes, once owner numbers are finalized, you will be able to use the same number at both stores.

Will my owner benefits change?

We haven’t ironed out the details for owner benefits yet, but they will largely remain the same. Owner discounts will still be offered, for example; how we will offer them will be shared at a later date.

Can I still attend board meetings?

Absolutely. Should the merger pass, all owners are welcome (and encouraged) to attend meetings held by the new board.

Can I become an owner to vote on merger?

Only owners who joined on or before July 21st, 2021 are eligible to vote on merger.

Vision

What will happen to the brands?

JLF and MMFC will become one co-op under the MMFC brand. See the Election Voter Guide for more information on how the boards made this decision.

What will the new board structure be?

The new co-op will begin with an initial board of nine directors, composed of five directors from MMFC and four directors from JLF. Over the next two election cycles, one board seat will be vacated until we arrive back at a seven-member board. Elections will be held according to the Bylaws proposed as part of this merger agreement, with approximately 1/3 of the board being elected in a given year. The board members are listed in the Election Voter Guide.

How will staff be affected?

There will be no staff layoffs as a result of the Merger. There may be restructuring of roles and duties to best use skills and fulfill desires, but all staff will remain employed and maintain their current or higher rate of pay. We believe there will be more opportunity for advancement to new or expanded roles, and opportunities to increase both pay and benefits across all levels in the organization. Our staff are crucial partners, and we want to continue that partnership as we shape the next chapter.

How will you continue supporting local suppliers?

Both co-ops have historically been big supporters of local growers, producers, and processors. This will not change. Our goal is that 37% of our product selection at both co-ops be locally sourced by 2026.

Will Eau Claire get a bigger location?

The boards and staff intend to expand the Eau Claire location by 2026. Merger positions our combined co-op to be ready for this. If we are ready to take on this opportunity before another grocer does, it is easy to imagine our total sales across both locations doubling.

Request an Investment Packet

Ready to learn more about investing? Submit a request to receive more information, and our staff will reach out to you.

Request an Investment Packet

Want to learn more about investing? Submit a request to receive more info, and our staff will reach out to you.

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The Chippewa Valley’s
Community-Owned Grocer

Menomonie
814 Main Street E.
Menomonie, WI
54751

7:00am-8:00pm
(715) 231-3663

Eau Claire
1117 S. Farwell Street
Eau Claire, WI
54701

8:00am-8:00pm
(715) 552-3366

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Stop By

Menomonie
814 Main Street E.
Menomonie, WI 54751
7:00am-8:00pm
(715) 231-3663

Eau Claire
1117 S. Farwell Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701
8:00am-8:00pm
(715) 552-3366

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