Menomonie Market Food Co-op to build new store in Eau Claire | WisCommunity

Menomonie Market Food Co-op to build new store in Eau Claire

May 18, 2022 - 1:02pm
New Store Concept

Menomonie Market Food Co-op has announced plans to build a new store in Eau Claire. The store will be built on the southern half of City Block 7, which is currently vacant and has been slated for development for years. The new expanded store and deli is expected to open in fall of 2023. 

“Our customers have been asking for a larger store for years,” said General Manager Crystal Halvorson. “We look forward to welcoming the community into a beautiful new location with more product offerings and spaces for learning and socializing.”

The co-op currently runs a store at 1117 S. Farwell St. The store was previously known as Just Local Food Co-op until the boards of both stores voted to merge operations. After the merger, the co-op began looking for a location for a new expanded store because the current store was considered much too small to meet the needs of the city. The co-op considers this an ideal location because it is downtown and close to the Eau Claire Farmers Market. The store will be built at the corner of North Barstow and Galloway streets. There are also developer plans underway to build an apartment complex with retail on the first floor on the balance of the block.

The new location will be a freestanding 13,900 square foot building with a retail space increase of more than 600% over the co-op’s current location. The facility will include a rooftop garden for dining and community events. An expanded deli will offer hot meals and a weekly community dinner, programs Halvorson says are popular at the co-op’s Menomonie location.

The co-op is currently working on designs for the new store and construction should begin later this year. The drawings in this article are concepts for the new store, not final plans.

To fund the construction of the new store, the cooperative is starting a campaign to sell Class C preferred shares to owners of the cooperative. The goal of this campaign is to raise two million dollars toward the construction of the store. When the co-op built its new store in Menomonie they were the smallest food co-op in the country to have ever raised one million dollars toward an expansion. 

“This sort of offering is unique to cooperatives,” said General Manager Crystal Halvorson. “Owners can invest additional money in the business for the benefit of everyone who uses the store. Instead of paying interest to an out-of-state lender, Menomonie Market Food Co-op can pay interest to our owners, ensuring more money remains within the Chippewa Valley. It’s a winning situation for all parties.” 

Preferred shares will be available at $500 per share and are only available to co-op owners as an investment. as is

Menomonie Market Food Co-op is a community-owned cooperative founded in 1974 with locations in both Menomonie and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. More information can be found at .

 

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Steve Hanson
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