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Owners, Cast Your Vote Now

The Co-op Merger Election is underway! Now through Sunday, September 12th at midnight, owners in good standing as of July 21, 2021 may cast their vote FOR or AGAINST the Merger of Just Local Food Co-op and Menomonie Market Food Co-op into one organization.

How To Vote

(1) Get Informed
If you haven’t already, read through the Voter Guide and merger documents linked on this page to learn everything about the election, including how the boards reached the decision that our two co-ops should merge, what the vision is, and when changes will take effect.

(2) Access the Online Ballot
Voting for both ownerships will take place online in separate elections hosted through a secure third-party service; both co-ops must receive a majority yes vote for the merger to pass. Click the link below to access your co-op’s ballot. If you are an owner at both co-ops, you may vote once in both elections.

(3) Securely Cast Your Vote
On the online ballot, owners of both co-ops will be asked to vote for or against the merger. Do so by entering the primary owner’s number in the Voter ID field and first name in the Voter Key field, selecting the answer for which you are voting, clicking the Submit Ballot button, and confirming your selection.

If you have any last-minute questions regarding the merger, can’t remember your owner number, or need assistance with voting, send an email to info@mmfc.coop, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Cast Your Vote Now

The Co-op Merger Election is underway! Now through Sunday, September 12th at midnight, owners in good standing as of July 21, 2021 may cast their vote FOR or AGAINST the Merger of Just Local Food Co-op and Menomonie Market Food Co-op into one organization.

How To Vote

(1) Get Informed
If you haven’t already, read through the Voter Guide and merger documents linked on this page to learn everything about the election, including how the boards reached the decision that our two co-ops should merge, what the vision is, and when changes will take effect.

(2) Access the Online Ballot
Voting for both ownerships will take place online in separate elections hosted through a secure third-party service; both co-ops must receive a majority yes vote for the merger to pass. Click the link below to access your co-op’s ballot. If you are an owner at both co-ops, you may vote once in both elections.

(3) Securely Cast Your Vote
On the online ballot, owners of both co-ops will be asked to vote for or against the merger. Do so by entering the primary owner’s number in the Voter ID field and first name in the Voter Key field, selecting the answer for which you are voting, clicking the Submit Ballot button, and confirming your selection.

If you have any last-minute questions regarding the merger, can’t remember your owner number, or need assistance with voting, send an email to info@mmfc.coop, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Co-ops Are Merging

After close to two years of hard work, the boards of Just Local Food Co-op and Menomonie Market Food Co-op reached the conclusion that both will be stronger as one cooperative and have unanimously approved a merger. Now they are bringing this question to their ownerships so they may vote yes. To get informed before casting your vote:

Read the Voter Guide

This booklet, mailed to all active owners, covers everything about the election, from how the boards reached this decision, what the vision for the new co-op is, and when changes will take effect. Look for it in your mailbox by August 8th.

Attend Education Opportunities

Throughout the month of August, the boards and management of both co-ops will be hosting five events at which they'll be sharing more information about the merger and answering questions. Find more information on these events below.

View Merger Documents

In addition to the 20-page voter guide, the boards have also included links to the Joint Information Statement, Merger Agreement, Plan of Merger, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Statement of Authorized Stock on this page. Find them below.

Register for your Annual Owner Meeting

(Updated) The merger election starts on August 29th at the virtual JLF Annual Owner Meeting and ends on September 12th at the virtual MMFC Annual Owner Meeting. Please register by the Friday before the meeting if you plan to attend.

Our Co-ops Are Merging

& Both Boards Unanimously Recommend a Yes Vote

Get Ready to Vote

on the Merger of Your Community-Owned Food Cooperatives

After close to two years of hard work, the boards of Menomonie Market Food Co-op and Just Local Food Co-op reached the conclusion that both will be stronger as one cooperative and have unanimously approved a merger. Now they are bringing this question to their ownerships so they may vote yes. To get informed before casting your vote:

Read the Voter Guide

This booklet, mailed to all active owners, covers everything about the election, from how the boards reached this decision, what the vision for the new co-op is, and when changes will take effect. Look for it in your mailbox by August 8th.

Attend Education Opportunities

Throughout the month of August, the boards and management of both co-ops will be hosting five events at which they'll be sharing more information about the merger and answering questions. Find more information on these events below.

View Merger Documents

In addition to the 20-page voter guide, the boards have also included links to the Joint Information Statement, Merger Agreement, Plan of Merger, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Statement of Authorized Stock on this page. Find them below.

Register for your Annual Owner Meeting

(Updated) The merger election starts on August 29th at the virtual JLF Annual Owner Meeting and ends on September 12th at the virtual MMFC Annual Owner Meeting. Please register by the Friday before the meeting if you plan to attend.

Election Information

This Joint Information Statement and related materials are provided by Just Local Food Co-op (JLF) and The Menomonie Food Co-op (MMFC) in connection with the proposed merger of the cooperatives (the “Merger”). On July 21, 2021, each of JLF and MMFC entered into a merger agreement, which provides that, pending approval of each cooperatives’ owners, we will unite into a single entity with legal name The Menomonie Food Co-op branded as Menomonie Market Food Co-op (the “Merger Agreement”).

In order for the Merger to take place, there must be approval by two thirds of those voting owners of each cooperative who vote on the question (the Election). The agreement and supporting documents were reviewed by the legal council for each co-op separately.

THE DIRECTORS OF JLF AND THE DIRECTORS OF MMFC HAVE EACH UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MERGER AND THE MERGER AGREEMENT, AND EACH UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS THAT ITS OWNERS VOTE YES.

This Joint Information Statement highlights selected information regarding the Merger, the Merger Agreement, and the Election and may not contain all the information that may be important to you. We urge you to carefully read this entire Joint Information Statement, its exhibits, and the supporting materials, which are linked below.

(Updated) About Voting

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

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 this mailer 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.

Quorum & Vote Required

A quorum for each election is at least 10% of the active owners of each co-op. Approval of the Merger requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of those owners of JLF and MMFC voting on the Merger.

How To Vote

Come back to this web page to access the link to the secure voting website once the election starts at 8:00am 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 midnight on Sunday, September 12, 2021.

Election Information

This Joint Information Statement and related materials are provided by Just Local Food Co-op (JLF) and The Menomonie Food Co-op (MMFC) in connection with the proposed merger of the cooperatives (the “Merger”). On July 21, 2021, each of JLF and MMFC entered into a merger agreement, which provides that, pending approval of each cooperatives’ owners, we will unite into a single entity with legal name The Menomonie Food Co-op branded as Menomonie Market Food Co-op (the “Merger Agreement”).

In order for the Merger to take place, there must be approval by two thirds of those voting owners of each cooperative who vote on the question (the Election). The agreement and supporting documents were reviewed by the legal council for each co-op separately.

THE DIRECTORS OF JLF AND THE DIRECTORS OF MMFC HAVE EACH UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MERGER AND THE MERGER AGREEMENT, AND EACH UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS THAT ITS OWNERS VOTE YES.

This Joint Information Statement highlights selected information regarding the Merger, the Merger Agreement, and the Election and may not contain all the information that may be important to you. We urge you to carefully read this entire Joint Information Statement, its exhibits, and the supporting materials, which are linked below.

(Updated) About Voting

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

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 this mailer 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.

Quorum & Vote Required

A quorum for each election is at least 10% of the active owners of each co-op. Approval of the Merger requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of those owners of JLF and MMFC voting on the Merger.

How To Vote

Come back to this web page to access the link to the secure voting website once the election starts at 8:00am 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 midnight on Sunday, September 12, 2021.

Education Opportunities

Owners from both stores are welcome to attend all events. Recordings will be made available after all meetings held via Zoom.

Presentations + Q&A Sessions

AUGUST 3RD

Presentation: Operational Plan & Five Year Look Ahead
Tuesday, August 3rd at 7:00pm
Zoom Meeting

At this first virtual presentation held via Zoom, Crystal Halvorson, the General Manager at MMFC and Interim General Manager at JLF, shared a look at the merged co-op’s year one operational plan and vision for the next five years in business.

Click Here to Request a Recording of this Meeting →

AUGUST 4TH

Presentation: Finance Considerations
Wednesday, August 4th at 10:00am
Zoom Meeting

At this second virtual presentation held via Zoom, Crystal Halvorson, the General Manager at MMFC and Interim General Manager at JLF, shared a summary of the financials for the two co-ops separately and how they will change once merged.

Click Here to Request a Recording of this Meeting →

AUGUST 5TH

Presentation: Branding & Identity
Thursday, August 5th at 7:00pm
Zoom Meeting

At this third virtual presentation held via Zoom, Crystal Halvorson, the General Manager at MMFC and Interim General Manager at JLF, explained how the two boards came to a conclusion that the name of the merged co-op will be Menomonie Market Food Co-op and when changes will go into effect.

Click Here to Request a Recording of this Meeting →

AUGUST 11TH

Q&A Session
Wednesday, August 11th at 7:00pm
The Eau Claire Conference Room on the 3rd Floor at Banbury Place in Eau Claire

At this in-person meeting, the boards of directors and management of both JLF and MMFC will answer questions from owners regarding the merger.

AUGUST 17TH

Q&A Session
Tuesday, August 17th at 7:00pm
Upstairs Classroom at Menomonie Market Food Co-op

At this in-person meeting, the boards of directors and management of both JLF and MMFC will answer questions from owners regarding the merger.

Annual Owner Meetings

Due to worsening conditions with COVID-19 in our area, both Annual Owner Meetings will now be held via Zoom. Click here to read an announcement regarding this change from our General Manager Crystal.

AUGUST 29TH

Just Local Food Co-op
Owners of Just Local Food Co-op are invited to attend a short virtual business meeting. Please register by Friday, August 27th if you plan to attend so we may send you the link.

Zoom Meeting
Date & Time: Sunday, August 29th at 7:00pm
Agenda: Business Meeting & Merger Election Kickoff

Click Here to Register →

(RESCHEDULED) SEPTEMBER 12TH

Menomonie Market Food Co-op
Owners of Menomonie Market Food Co-op are invited to attend a short virtual business meeting. Please register by Friday, September 10th if you plan to attend so we may send you the link.

Zoom Meeting
Date & Time: Sunday, September 12th at 7:00pm
Agenda: Business Meeting & Merger Election Closing

Merger Election results will be announced on Monday, September 13th.

Click Here to Register →

Education Opportunities

Owners from both stores are welcome to attend all events. Recordings will be shared after Zoom meetings.

Presentations + Q&A Sessions

AUGUST 3RD

Presentation: Operational Plan & Five Year Look Ahead
Tuesday, August 3rd at 7:00pm
Zoom Meeting

At this first virtual presentation held via Zoom, Crystal Halvorson, the General Manager at MMFC and Interim General Manager at JLF, shared a look at the merged co-op’s year one operational plan and vision for the next five years in business.

Click Here to Request a Recording of this Meeting →

AUGUST 4TH

Presentation: Finance Considerations
Wednesday, August 4th at 10:00am
Zoom Meeting

At this second virtual presentation held via Zoom, Crystal Halvorson, the General Manager at MMFC and Interim General Manager at JLF, shared a summary of the financials for the two co-ops separately and how they will change once merged.

Click Here to Request a Recording of this Meeting →

AUGUST 5TH

Presentation: Branding & Identity
Thursday, August 5th at 7:00pm
Zoom Meeting

At this third virtual presentation held via Zoom, Crystal Halvorson, the General Manager at MMFC and Interim General Manager at JLF, explained how the two boards came to a conclusion that the name of the merged co-op will be Menomonie Market Food Co-op and when changes will go into effect.

Click Here to Request a Recording of this Meeting →

AUGUST 11TH

Q&A Session
Wednesday, August 11th at 7:00pm
The Eau Claire Conference Room on the 3rd Floor at Banbury Place in Eau Claire

At this in-person meeting, the boards of directors and management of both JLF and MMFC will answer questions from owners regarding the merger.

AUGUST 17TH

Q&A Session
Tuesday, August 17th at 7:00pm
Upstairs Classroom at Menomonie Market Food Co-op

At this in-person meeting, the boards of directors and management of both JLF and MMFC will answer questions from owners regarding the merger.

Annual Owner Meetings

Due to worsening conditions with COVID-19 in our area, both Annual Owner Meetings will now be held via Zoom. Click here to read an announcement regarding this change from our General Manager Crystal.

AUGUST 29TH

Just Local Food Co-op
Owners of Just Local Food Co-op are invited to attend a short virtual business meeting. Please register by Friday, August 27th if you plan to attend so we may send you the link.

Zoom Meeting
Date & Time: Sunday, August 29th at 7:00pm
Agenda: Business Meeting & Merger Election Kickoff

Click Here to Register →

(RESCHEDULED) SEPTEMBER 12TH

Menomonie Market Food Co-op
Owners of Menomonie Market Food Co-op are invited to attend a short virtual business meeting. Please register by Friday, September 10th if you plan to attend so we may send you the link.

Zoom Meeting
Date & Time: Sunday, September 12th at 7:00pm
Agenda: Business Meeting & Merger Election Closing

Merger Election results will be announced on Monday, September 13th.

Click Here to Register →

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.

Board Bios

Get to know the nine members of our two co-op communities who will represent each
ownership in the new co-op if the merger is approved.

Rick Remington

After growing up in small-town Wisconsin, Rick studied Forestry/Environmental Communication at UW-Stevens Point and Conservation Biology at Western Kentucky University. Over 20 years later, he has worked in land conservation throughout the Midwest, Maine, and Kentucky, moved back to Downsville, and he now works for a non-profit conservation organization.

Karlee Wallin

Karlee’s love for co-ops stems from being raised in a small community where local suppliers thrived because of their support, and from being mentored by her dad, who dedicated nearly 50 years to working at co-ops. She and her husband planted their roots in the Chippewa Valley twelve years ago, and she now works as the Vice President of Small Business Lending at Royal Credit Union.

Mariann Holm

Mariann, an organic crop and livestock inspector, has a passion for organic farming and cooperatives. She, her husband, and two sons live on a farm in Elk Mound where they custom raise organic dairy heifers, and she was previously a Farmer Ambassador Program Leader within the Organic Valley cooperative for several years.

Kathy Mitchell

After receiving her PhD in anthropology from UW-Milwaukee and teaching in the area for several years, Kathy moved to the Chippewa Valley and held several positions at UWEC, including representation of students with disabilities, affirmative action officer, and assistant to the chancellor. During that time, she also served as chair of the city plan commission and president of the police and fire commission before retiring. She has since served as an Eau Claire City Council member.

Barb Button

Barb is a Wisconsin native who grew up in the country eating mostly wild game and garden produce. She is retired from UW-Stout where she managed the public website, conducted training, and participated in strategic planning and marketing. She has also worked in development and strategic planning for MMFC and other organizations.

Joseph Meicher

Joseph’s background as a chef as well as his desire to set a positive example for his daughters and show them what it means to be involved in the community are what fueled his passion for furthering local food systems. He currently works as a Consumer Loan Underwriter at Royal Credit Union and has served as a JLF board member for several years.

Sarah Paquette

Sarah, a former Operations Officer for the Department of Defense and account manager at Stauffer, now co-owns New Columbia Acres Farmstead & Garden with her husband in Boyceville, Wisconsin. In her free time, Sarah enjoys coaching high school track and field, substitute teaching in her local school district, and volunteering as a mentor for current students of her alma mater Oregon State University.

Kyle Lehman

After working in the creative industry for a decade, Kyle joined the board of Just Local Food Co-op during his time at Draft Design House, the design agency involved in the rebrand and capital campaign at JLF launched in 2018. Since then, Kyle has continued his work as a freelance photographer with a focus on the music industry, and he cofounded Ivy, a coworking space for creatives in downtown Eau Claire.

Susan Krahn

Susan, a registered dietitian nutritionist, has worked in public health for nine years and currently serves on Eau Claire hunger prevention and wellness committees and on a UW-Stout dietetics advisory committee. She resides in Menomonie with her husband and children and enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, and reading historical fiction in her free time.

Board Bios

Get to know the members of our two co-op communities who will represent each ownership if the merger is approved.

Rick Remington

After growing up in small-town Wisconsin, Rick studied Forestry/Environmental Communication at UW-Stevens Point and Conservation Biology at Western Kentucky University. Over 20 years later, he has worked in land conservation throughout the Midwest, Maine, and Kentucky, moved back to Downsville, and he now works for a non-profit conservation organization.

Karlee Wallin

Karlee’s love for co-ops stems from being raised in a small community where local suppliers thrived because of their support, and from being mentored by her dad, who dedicated nearly 50 years to working at co-ops. She and her husband planted their roots in the Chippewa Valley twelve years ago, and she now works as the Vice President of Small Business Lending at Royal Credit Union.

Kathy Mitchell

After receiving her PhD in anthropology from UW-Milwaukee and teaching in the area for several years, Kathy moved to the Chippewa Valley and held several positions at UWEC, including representation of students with disabilities, affirmative action officer, and assistant to the chancellor. During that time, she also served as chair of the city plan commission and president of the police and fire commission before retiring. She has since served as an Eau Claire City Council member.

Mariann Holm

Mariann, an organic crop and livestock inspector, has a passion for organic farming and cooperatives. She, her husband, and two sons live on a farm in Elk Mound where they custom raise organic dairy heifers, and she was previously a Farmer Ambassador Program Leader within the Organic Valley cooperative for several years.

Barb Button

Barb is a Wisconsin native who grew up in the country eating mostly wild game and garden produce. She is retired from UW-Stout where she managed the public website, conducted training, and participated in strategic planning and marketing. She has also worked in development and strategic planning for MMFC and other organizations.

Joseph Meicher

Joseph’s background as a chef as well as his desire to set a positive example for his daughters and show them what it means to be involved in the community are what fueled his passion for furthering local food systems. He currently works as a Consumer Loan Underwriter at Royal Credit Union and has served as a JLF board member for several years.

Kyle Lehman

After working in the creative industry for a decade, Kyle joined the board of Just Local Food Co-op during his time at Draft Design House, the design agency involved in the rebrand and capital campaign at JLF launched in 2018. Since then, Kyle has continued his work as a freelance photographer with a focus on the music industry, and he cofounded Ivy, a coworking space for creatives in downtown Eau Claire.

Susan Krahn

Susan, a registered dietitian nutritionist, has worked in public health for nine years and currently serves on Eau Claire hunger prevention and wellness committees and on a UW-Stout dietetics advisory committee. She resides in Menomonie with her husband and children and enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, and reading historical fiction in her free time.

Sarah Paquette

Sarah, a former Operations Officer for the Department of Defense and account manager at Stauffer, now co-owns New Columbia Acres Farmstead & Garden with her husband in Boyceville, Wisconsin. In her free time, Sarah enjoys coaching high school track and field, substitute teaching in her local school district, and volunteering as a mentor for current students of her alma mater Oregon State University.

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.

Have a Question?

Still have a question after reading through the merger materials? Submit your question or comment
via the form below, and we’ll get back to you.

Have a Question?

Still have a question after reading through the merger materials? Submit your question or comment via the form below, and we’ll get back to you.

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814 Main Street E
Menomonie WI 54751
(715) 231-3663

Menomonie Market Food Co-op is a community-owned grocery store and deli in downtown Menomonie focused on providing local, organic, and sustainable products.

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814 Main Street E
Menomonie WI 54751
(715) 231-3663

Menomonie Market Food Co-op is a community-owned grocery store and deli in downtown Menomonie.

Stay Connected

Join 3,500+ others getting access to exclusive sales, news, and much more.

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814 Main Street E, Menomonie, WI 54751  •  (715) 231-3663  •  © Menomonie Market Food Co-op.