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Oshkosh Food Co-op opens to shoppers

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:14 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - More than a decade in the making, Northeast Wisconsin now has a community-owned grocery story. The Oshkosh Food Co-op opened to shoppers Thursday afternoon. But, the store is about much more than the items stocked on the shelves.

The Oshkosh Food Co-op, is a community-owned grocery store. More than 1,600 member-owners, along with businesses, organizations, foundations, and countless volunteers made it happen, not only realizing the need for a store like this but also the impact it could have in Oshkosh.

According to Brenda Haines, president of the Co-op Board of Directors, “This is essential to this community. This neighborhood, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a food desert. That means there aren’t enough healthy food options available for low-income people without adequate transportation. This is a game changer.”

The Co-op is 4,800 square feet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, packages goods, meat and fish, dairy and beer and wine -- along with household and wellness items and grab and go meals. Twenty percent of the products sold in the co-op are locally sourced from growers, producers, and farmers within a 100-mile radius of the State of Wisconsin.

“The Oshkosh Food Co-op is giving local producers a face on the shelves of a grocery store. It is going to help small, local producers take the next step into the wholesale market,” says Tracy Vinz of Olden Organics.

And it’s a market the community is happy to have. “This grocery store, the organic produce, the local produce, keeping the money in the community, it’s all beneficial to the Oshkosh community and I’m very excited,” adds Makenzie Hunter of Oshkosh.

The Co-op will be open, seven days a week, from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. Monday through Saturday and 11 A.M. to 7 P.M. on Sunday.

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