Local Food Co-Op Celebrates New Store Anniversary

September 25, 2015

ASHLAND, WI – The Chequamegon Food Co-op will celebrate its first anniversary in its new store on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The time since its move to 700 Main Street West has been filled with change as the Co-op expanded its ownership base, added staff, and increased overall sales.

Chequamegon Food Co-op is a community-owned business. Since the move, the Co-op has added nearly 600 new owners to bring its ownership up to 2,600 community members. Over 20 new employees have been added to the staff roster. Store sales have been close to meeting projections, with overall sales expected to top $4 million by year’s end.

The Co-op was incorporated in 1976, the same year the Co-op’s first storefront opened in Ashland. The store was run entirely on member labor for the first five years. After four moves and the hiring of a part-time manager, the Co-op settled at 215 Chapple Ave in 1986. The store began to show a profit in 1990.

Growing interest in the organic and natural foods market allowed two major renovations of the store: in 1994 and in 2001. In 2001 the Co-op purchased 213 Chapple Avenue and doubled in size. The Co-op moved from approximately 2,000 square feet of retail space to 6,000 square feet in its Main Street location. This extra space allowed the Co-op to stock more local products, including additional produce, fresh meat, fresh fish, value-added food products, wellness goods, and general merchandise.

Other new amenities include a grab-and-go deli, deli seating, and a cooking classroom/community room.

The anniversary celebration will include free refreshments, special sales, and a meet-and-greet with local food and wellness business owners, including Big Water Coffee of Bayfield, Wis. and Lea’s Organic Herbal Skin Care of Washburn, Wis. To learn more about the Chequamegon Food Co-op and its anniversary celebration, please contact Harold Vanselow, general manager, at (715) 682-8251 or haroldv@cheqfood.coop.

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