After five years of meeting, planning, surveying and organizing, the Viroqua Food Co-op is officially launching a Capital Investment Campaign. VFC is counting on its member-owners to collectively invest $1 million in Class C Shares by Aug. 15 for the expansion of the store in its current location. Class C Shares are a nonvoting, preferred stock offering a dividend of 3 percent with a minimum of $500 investment and a 4 percent dividend for investments over $10,000.

The expanded store will have double the retail space, with a larger produce department, a fresh meat and seafood counter, more prepared foods, more registers, more bathrooms, increased parking, more indoor and outdoor seating, and a meeting/educational room.

The Viroqua Food Co-op expansion project has a very strong alignment within the community of Viroqua and shares its vision for a growing, vibrant economy. In addition, the project is in direct alignment with the Comprehensive Plan of the County of Vernon, which states that cooperatives are a unique resource in Vernon County, and that “local organic production provides the critical amount of [goods and services] needed for economic success and this provides county citizens access to locally produced food.”

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“This really is a critical step for us,” said Jan Rasikas, VFC general manager. “With projected profitability in our third year, our owners should be really excited about this opportunity. These investments have a higher dividend rate than many other investment opportunities and it truly makes your money work within your community. Owner investment is the tried and true method that food co-ops use nationally to raise the capital to open doors. It is the cooperative principle of economic participation.”

The Viroqua Food Co-op will stay fully operational during the renovations, Rasikas said. “I’m excited about the positive impact the expansion will have on our community. It will allow us to better serve our customers and continue to strengthen our local food economy. We are building a work of enduring value that leads to a more healthy and vibrant community.” More information about the co-op and the expansion can be found at www.viroquafood.coop/expansion-news.

Investors must be Wisconsin residents and VFC owners. To become an owner of the co-op, ask any cashier in the store or purchase an ownership online at www.viroquafood.coop. To request an owner investment packet, email Christina Dollhausen, Viroqua Food Co-op’s capital campaign coordinator, at Christina.dollhausen@viroquafood.coop or call 608-637-7511, ext. 32.

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Vernon County Broadcaster editor

Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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