In celebration of their new office and one year ownership anniversary, Whitewater Grocery Co. is inviting the public to an open house at their new office location in the Whitewater Innovation Center, 1221 Innovation Dr. Suite 118, on Saturday, May 5, 2018, from 1 – 3 pm.
The open house begins at 1 pm and includes light hors d’oeuvres, free beer, free souvenir pint glasses, office tour, and a short presentation at 2 p.m. Owners are encouraged to bring their friends and will receive a raffle ticket for every friend they bring who is not currently an owner, which gets them entry in a raffle for a large gift basket filled with local products. New members who sign up during the open house will receive either a free t-shirt or yard sign. “In our first four days, we signed up 100 owners, making us the fastest growing business of our kind in the country. We are excited to continue that momentum as we work on building our community grocery store together,” Reichwald said.
Since officially incorporating in March 2017, the Whitewater Grocery Co. has reached some significant milestones. As one of the fastest growing start-up food co-ops in the nation, they’ve signed up 365 of the 1,000 owners needed to open a full-service grocery store in Whitewater. Additionally, they’ve elected a board of directors, conducted a preliminary market study which confirmed that Whitewater can support a 10,000 – 15,000 sq. ft. full-service grocery store, and established an office space at the Whitewater Innovation Center. Once the organization reaches 500 members, they can move on to the next step in the development process, Feasibility Stage 2b – location analysis and business planning.
An important part of the feasibility of the grocery store is showing that there is community support – through ownership shares. “The more people we have invested, the more influence we have with lenders and developers,” said board president, Lacey Reichwald. To become a vested owner of the Whitewater Grocery Co., individuals are asked to make a one-time payment of $150, or $25 installment payments for six months, which can be done online, in person, or by mail. The store will be open to anyone who wants to shop there, but owners will receive extra benefits, including special owner sales and discounts.
Whitewater Grocery Co. is a cooperatively owned business in Whitewater, Wisconsin working to build a full-service local grocery store. The mission of this group is to support farm to table eating, to be a model of environmental sustainability, to stimulate the local economy, and to create a “third space” for the Whitewater community.