The Next Phase of Expansion

Well, my freezer is filled with tomato sauce, pesto, local chicken, bone broth, pork, and lard. And my cupboards contain just about every canning jar I own, filled with salsa, peach pie filling, jams, Bloody Mary mix, and some lovely Wisconsin fruit sunk under Everclear. What are your favorite summer treats to put away for winter? Please enjoy this wonderful issue of The Morsel, all about the harvest. 

After a successful campaign this summer, we are moving along with the next phase of our expansion plan, mostly on time, and often at the whim of external timelines out of our control. The coolers that will line our new store, the shelves that our products will sit on, the review and engineering of the plan itself—just about every timeline is stretched these days as we live with shortages of one kind or another. Largely speaking, we are still on track to begin construction this fall and will work diligently to open as close to next fall as we can manage.

The co-op will have a harvest of sorts very soon as we collect the generous amounts of money successfully raised by our owners through the purchase of Preferred Shares. This is an example of the cooperative principles in action: many people contributing small amounts of capital so that together we can do something big to meet our needs. If you purchased Preferred Shares, you will soon receive your agreement back, and it will be signed by me with instructions for submitting your payment. We still have several hundred thousand dollars worth of registered shares that can be purchased by our owners living in Wisconsin. If we sell them all, it means less interest paid to a bank, and instead, dividends paid to you. Please be in touch if you would like more information. There’s still time to invest in the project!

Lastly, a plug for our Annual Owner Meeting! We are finally ready to return to an in-person meeting with food. This year, we will gather under the Wilson Park pavilion in Menomonie again, hear about the year behind us and the year to come, meet some of our Fund our Foodshed grant winners, and eat a delicious meal together featuring the local bounty provided by current and past grant winners. We are meeting in Menomonie because one year from now we hope to be meeting at our brand new site in Eau Claire, whether it is about to open or has been open for a bit. If you live in the Eau Claire area, we really hope you’ll take the drive to visit your Menomonie location and meet other owners—We now find ourselves almost 5,000 strong!

This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 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.

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