The cost, including working capital, is estimated to be between $3 to $4 million. But the store is expected to generate $7 million in annual sales and employ 40 people, said Rose Nelson, president of Wild Root Market.
The food co-op model allows community members to buy shares in a for-profit store, but it is democratically controlled by its members. So they would have a vote in how the store would be operated. The Wild Root Market board, operated by volunteers, started in the fall of 2011 and now has over 800 co-op members that want to see a food co-op open in Racine.
“We are thrilled to announce that Wild Root Market received the necessary approvals from the City of Racine to operate a grocery store at 500 Walton Avenue. We are so grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support both from the neighborhood and from our member-owners,” the Co-Op released in a prepared statement.
People do not need to be co-op members to shop at the store.
The 12,000 square foot building exceeded their ideal store size of 8,000 square feet.
Wild Root Market received a $10,000 grant from the Food Co-op Initiative in May. The grant came with board and team monitoring, site evaluation assistance from co-op development experts, help with kicking off a capital campaign, and mentoring on marketing and membership growth.
Typically starting up a food co-op takes about three to nine years. Wild Root is coming up on its sixth year.
Officials now hope to grow its membership to 1,500 by the time the store opens, which is expected to happen in the summer of 2018.
To learn more about the market, the group is hosting a series of meet-ups. Click here to find out more.