11/12/2015
VIROQUA, WI – The Driftless Region in western Wisconsin is ground zero for the rapidly expanding local food movement. Growing demand for fresh organic food and high quality local products...  has helped fuel the growth of many local businesses including the Viroqua Food Co-op (VFC) – a local favorite in Vernon County. After 20 years of success, the member-owned Viroqua Food Co-op is once again looking to grow and expand their local operation.  “Viroqua Food Co-op is a champion of our local food economy since 1995,” said Jan Rasikas, VFC General Manager. “With the support of our 3300 member-owners, we eagerly anticipate growing our Cooperative so we can better serve our community by offering more local, organic, and natural food options.”

State Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) met with Viroqua Food Co-op employees and supporters Thursday to learn more about how the Co-op supports local farmers, their support for labeling of genetically modified foods and upcoming expansion plans.

“With friendly service and quality products, I always enjoy visiting the Viroqua Food Co-op,” said Sen. Shilling. “As a supporter of buy local and farm to table initiatives, it is exciting to see the Co-op grow, expand and boost the local economy.”

The Viroqua Food Co-op currently employs 64 people, of which 80% are full time and have access to a full benefits package. In the last fiscal year, VFC achieved $7 million in sales. To learn more about the Co-op, individuals can stop in or visit online at http://www.viroquafood.coop/.


Viroqua coop

Hello New Leaf Co-op Members,

Financing New Leaf Market Co-op means continuing to grow our membership, to share our resources and to work very hard to realize our vision of a healthy community food hub owned by all of us. It also means finding a site where a professional market analysis projects profitability and cash flow attractive enough to secure external funds.

With the help of several downtown Green Bay business advocates, New Leaf Market Co-op volunteers looked for five years for that site in downtown Green Bay, where we saw a need and wanted to fill it. Because we were not able to secure a feasible site during a reasonable time period, at the end of 2014 we announced that we would expand our search area to include sites outside of downtown Green Bay, while also continuing to search in downtown.

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Join us for the 6th Annual New Leaf Winter Farmers Market Presented by Bellin Health! New Leaf Market, Downtown Green Bay, Inc. and Bellin Health support the event which will kick off its 2015-2016 season on December 12th.
  • Free to Attend!
  • Vendors: Over 80 vendors including local meats, cheeses, bakery, vegetables,canned items, coffee, handcrafted art pieces and various local restaurants.
  • Parking: Free parking in the Main Street Ramp with sky-walk to the KI Center.
  • New Leaf Market: New Leaf Market is working to open a cooperative grocery store. 
  • Dates: Select Saturdays (below) from 8 a.m. - Noon at the KI Convention Center (333 Main St.) in Exhibit Hall C.
  • EBT: EBT will be available on site for select vendors.
8:00am-12:00pm
KI Convention Center, 333 Main Street, Exhibit Hall C

December 12: Special extended Holiday Market with 30 additional holiday craft vendors.
                             Free visits with Santa from 10 a.m. - Noon. 
December 19
January      2
January     16
January     23
February    6
February   13

Would you like to volunteer for the New Leaf booth at one or more of the New Leaf Winter Farmers Market Saturdays?

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Community-Owned Grocery Store? Make It New Leaf Market!

There’s been a lot of dedicated efforts to solidify a community-owned grocery store, featuring healthy, local food. Our response? The answer is New Leaf Market! When talking to friends and neighbors about this initiative, here are 5 quick hits that can help you explain what our store will be:

  1. New Leaf Market, you mean the New Leaf Winter Farmers Market?
    No!  New Leaf Market will be a full-service (you can get your cheerios, Kashi & toothpaste), member-owned, cooperative grocery store that will feature local, healthy, fair-priced food for the community.  It will look like your neighborhood grocery store with aisles of produce, dairy, bulk foods, meats, beer & wine, non-perishables, health & beauty, deli, bakery and so much more.  Not open yet, but on its way! New Leaf Market is one of the partners participating in the New Leaf Winter Farmers Market, which we started with Downtown Green Bay, Inc.

  2. Membership?  I just want to shop there! 
    Everyone can shop at New Leaf Market! You don’t have to be a member-owner to enjoy the high quality food, fair prices and educational information provided by New Leaf Foods.  You just get added perks if you are.

  3. I want a Trader Joes/Whole Foods, will I like New Leaf Market?
    Absolutely!  If you want a Trader Joes or Whole Foods, you will want New Leaf Market!  We are the local, authentic option when it comes to healthy, whole foods.  We will carry many of the things you will find at either of those stores, but will offer more locally produced and grown food.  Plus it’s owned by OUR community. Not someone in another state, meaning more of our dollars spent at New Leaf Market will stay in the community. 

  4. You say where? 
    New Leaf Market Co-op has identified a site in De Pere with good parking, on a main thoroughfare with public transportation access.

  5. I want to shop there now!
    New Leaf Market Co-op will open as soon as we secure our financing.  Over 800 member-owners already support the vision of New Leaf Market having purchased their $180 share (one time cost), having pledged over $360,000 in member-owner investments and continuing to spread the word about New Leaf Market.  There is more work to be done, but we are taking the right steps.

Help make New Leaf Market the solution.  Become a member-owner hereThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you want to volunteer!

Why I Joined New Leaf Market, Why You Should Too

It was a study in bounty and respect! As I unloaded beautiful oranges, bananas, apples, grapes, an array of lettuce, rich red tomatoes, yellow beets, and deep green beans, the colors and the shapes were a delight and stamped with confidence. Because they were purchased at an organic grocery, I knew they were grown pesticide-free, from the closest locations by trusted farmers. I also knew they would taste as good as they looked.

 

Since I was in Milwaukee, I took advantage of one of their organic stores with all this abundance. As I returned home, I felt deeply cheated because we don’t have this available . . . yet. Looking forward to the bloom of New Leaf Market Cooperative, I can’t wait for this kind of bounty to be ours in Green Bay! I can’t wait to not have to be concerned about what the chicken was fed or to be concerned about the additives injected into meats. As someone who loves to cook, I know that my artistic ventures will be so much better with untreated foods that are in a natural, not altered state.

 

New Leaf Market Co-op will evolve into a reality when there are enough members to launch the project. It is easy to put off joining since it is only now germinating, but now is the time to put our money where our mouth is. "I’ll send them a check when they’re closer to opening," is a natural reaction. However, the sooner you invest in a membership, the sooner we will all eat better, healthier and safer. So, please make it happen soon, please invest now!

 

Bon Appétit!

Susan Frost

Founding Member

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