OUR HISTORY (so far!)

Our co-op started with a small group of friends and neighbors gathered around a dining room table to talk about a community owned grocery store for Racine. They envisioned a store where they could buy natural, local, and sustainable foods right here in our community.

This group of local food enthusiasts connected with co-op experts from the Twin Cities who shared a road map for co-op development, along with a host of resources to help us navigate the journey. A road trip to thriving food co-ops in Madison, Viroqua and La Crosse fueled the passions of that original group. Inspiration took hold and the Wild Root Market was born!

September 2011 marked the launch of Wild Root Markets owner campaign and its incorporation as a co-operatively owned business. In a single month, over 200 dedicated and remarkable people joined the co-op and were designated as our Founding Owners. That level of growth in the first month was unprecedented in the co-op world and indicated strong local support for a cooperatively owned grocery store in Racine.

Since then, the Wild Root Market continues to grow under the leadership of an all-volunteer Board of Directors, dedicated member-owners elected by the membership. With help from a host of volunteers, the Board has been working hard to build knowledge in the community about the benefits of a co-op in our town. Our co-op has grown to over 800 member-owners and has built relationships with local producers and civic leaders. At present, the Board is committed to securing the right location for the co-op in 2016 with plans to open the store as soon as possible thereafter.


The project timeline below outlines the efforts so far and our best estimate on progress toward opening the Wild Root Market. The future dates will be adjusted as circumstances warrant.

STAGE 1 Organizational Stage

Nov 2009 First organizational meeting

Aug 2011 Launch membership campaign

Sept 2011 Incorporate, Board of Directors, Public Meeting, Initial Survey

Oct 2011 Committees formed

Dec 2011 Initial market study conducted

Feb 2012 Bylaws approved, Membership approved

April 2012 Membership threshold of 300 members reached

STAGE 2 Planning Stage

Summer 2012  First draft of financial pro-forma complete

Fall 2012  Initial draft of business plan complete

Spring 2013  Pro-forma and business plan refined as circumstances evolve

Fall 2013  Follow-up market study completed thanks to a grant from The Outpost

Winter 2013 Project Manager hired, Purchase offer for Grove Avenue site

Spring 2013 Due diligence for Grove Avenue site

Winter 2014  Membership threshold of 750 owners reached

Summer 2014 Grove Avenue site deemed not feasible, site search resumes

Fall 2014 Seven potential sites identified and evaluated

March 2015 Market study conducted on 4 potential sites

Fall 2015 Financial pro forma on top 2 potential sites

Dec 2015 Potential sites deemed not feasible, site search resumes, membership threshold of 800 owners reached


Spring 2016 Identify potential site, begin lease negotiation

Summer 2016 Secure site with contingencies, finalize pro-forma and business plan

STAGE 3 Implementation

Summer 2016 Implement member loan campaign

Summer 2016 Membership threshold of 1050 owners

Fall 2016 Secure additional financing

Fall 2016 Hire General Manager

Winter 2016 Construction begins

Spring 2017 Membership threshold of 1500 owners

Doors open!