OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV)- The first Northeast Wisconsin community-owned grocery store, Oshkosh Food Co-op is set to hold its opening ceremony Thursday, July 22.

The ceremony is scheduled for noon on July 22, following the ceremony shoppers will be welcomed into the grocery store for the very first time. The opening of this store and what it means for the community is a journey that has spans nearly a decade.

The Oshkosh Food Co-op will be targetting 20% of its sales from locally sourced goods from growers, producers, and farmers within 100-miles, or the state of Wisconsin. The Co-op’s grand opening brings fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, packaged goods, and so much more to low-income neighborhoods. The store will add 30 jobs to the local economy.

Within the community-owned grocery store, there will be two different seating areas and the first food co-op in the nation to offer a Chatty Checkout. A “chatty checkout” is a slow lane, specifically designed to help combat social isolation by eliminating the rush of checking out.

Oshkosh Food Co-op member-owners are committed to inclusiveness while also welcoming all members of the community into the store.

In 2011, UW Oshkosh student Bridgette Weber learned Oshkosh did not have a food co-op and decided to change that. She gathered community members to begin the process, and in 2013 the Oshkosh Food Co-op incorporated was born.

The initial steering committee would transform into the Board of Directors and began the eight-year journey of market research, community education, financial planning, site selection, and of course building relationships with local suppliers.

The opening ceremony will take in the parking lot of the Oshkosh Food Co-op, which will be located on the first floor of the Brio building at 155 Jackson Street Suite 110 and is set to begin at noon on July 22.