Community Investments In Action

Now that the walls are up and the roof is starting to be installed, things are really going to start to move quickly on the corner of Eau Claire’s Barstow and Galloway Streets. In just one short month, all of the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical lines will be dug into the floor, and our floors will be ready to be poured. Once that milestone is passed, the building explodes with activity. Whether it’s installing sinks, running plumbing lines, moving our new energy-efficient coolers into place, or building walk-in coolers or a brand new commercial kitchen, the place will be buzzing as summer wears on. Menomonie Market Food Co-op staff will begin to have access by then too so we can build shelves, install equipment, and eventually receive our first huge grocery orders. It’s coming together!

Our new store plans in Eau Claire include self-checkouts in addition to full-service lanes. This is becoming the norm in retail, and we are excited to be able to offer both. We will be installing these lanes in our Menomonie location in late spring so we can learn the ropes ahead of time and are able to train the new Eau Claire staff on both types of lanes in Menomonie before our grand opening.

When I ask around, people seem to have pretty strong feelings about self-checkout; they either love it and are excitedly clapping their hands, or they share feelings about the way the world is getting less personal. No matter how you feel, I want you to know that both types of service will always be an option at the co-op, and the creation of self-checkouts will not replace workers. Instead, it’s a way to increase choices for our customers, increase variety in the workday for our cashiers, and increase the customer service that we are able to provide in the aisles, such as answering questions and having great conversations with you all. If you would like to be one of our beta testers for the new self-checkout lanes in Menomonie, shoot me an email!

Our Administrative Services team had a great week at the end of February. We wrote and distributed over 350 letters to the people that received a dividend on their Class C Preferred Shares, declared by our Board of Directors in late January. We distributed almost $35K in dividends—money that is returned directly into the hands of our owners, the people who shop in our stores and are committed to increasing our local food-based economy. Thank you! Whether you have supported the co-op through buying Preferred Shares, purchasing an ownership share for a friend, or shopping with us, it all adds up to something wonderful.

This article was originally published in the March/April 2023 issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, The Morsel. If you’d like to read more stories like this one and stay up to date on the latest co-op news and events, pick up a print copy in-store on your next grocery run or find more news on our website here.


  • May 8, 2023

    Gail Halmstad

    I am absolutely over the moon and can hardly wait for the opening! The support you are giving to local farmers is absolutely essential and will only make our economy stronger. I have felt for years that we left the rural communities behind – whether it was the small farms or the public schools.

    I recently read Michael Perry’s Forty Acres Deep Julian Emerson wrote an article in the “Wisconsin Examiner” which is a real eye opener for anyone who hasn’t been following the crisis.

    Gail Halmstad