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The board for Wild Root Market, which intends to open a food co-operative in Racine, announced Sunday that it was not able to secure the former Piggly Wiggly grocery store at 1101 Grove Ave. for the store.
Organizers leading the effort noted in a blog that they had a contract with the owners of the site that was contingent on developing renovation and store furnishing/equipment estimates, but the site was too costly to move forward with the deal.

The board tried to re-negotiate the offer, but it was not able to reach an agreement on the price.

“We share the community’s disappointment that this site, despite its advantages, is not suitable for our project,” according to the Wild Root blog. “However our fiduciary duty to our member-owners is always to make sound business decisions based on the facts. Our financial projections indicated that the business would not be sustainable. Our next step would have been to raise money through loans made by our Member-Owners and we could not in good conscience have asked you to invest in this project at this time.”

The group plans to take the experience they’ve learned through the process and are in a “better position to work quickly to assess alternate sites,” according to the blog.

In 2011, the group commissioned a study of three different sites and had determined that the Piggly Wiggly site was the best choice. Since then the other two sites are either not feasible or available. The group is currently pursuing other possible sites at this time.

“Our transparency about this unfortunate outcome with the West Racine site should reassure our Member-Owners and the Racine community that we are committed to making sound business decisions, even though the process may take longer than any of us would like,” the blog said. “We are grateful for your trust and support and will work quickly to evaluate other site options and keep the process moving forward.”

The group plans to hold a meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 17 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 3319 Washington Ave.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.

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