OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oshkosh Food Co-op announced on Sunday that its Capital Campaign that launched on November 2 has surpassed its goal of reaching $1.6 million in capital drives allowing it to proceed in opening a community-owned grocery store.

Oshkosh Food Co-op Board President, Brenda Haines said, “This marks a major milestone for this project and for our vision of stronger local economies, health, and community.”

Haines continued, “The way this region has come together to support this project is very encouraging to us as we take the next steps toward making this store a reality.”

The support from the community is reflected in the numbers, Oshkosh Food Co-op reported having received pledges and gifts totaling $1,615,830 from more than 600 member-owners, businesses, organizations, and supporters in the region.

This community effort has paved the way for the construction of Northeast Wisconsin’s first community-owned store that will be located on the corner of Jackson Street and Pearl Avenue in Oshkosh.

Project Manager Lizz Redman said, “We saw donations from $10 and up, many from member-owners, with some from people throughout the Fox Valley who told us they believe in our mission to bring healthy, affordable grocery options to central Oshkosh.”

The Oshkosh Food Co-op noted that it will now focus on collecting pledges and securing other funding sources, including local, state and federal grants, and a community loan.

The co-op also mentioned that it will work to expand its base of member-owners from 1,260 today to 1,500 before the store opens. 

Organization officials confirmed that they have leased 10,000 square feet of retail space from Merge Urban Development on the first floor of the proposed BRIO Building and will occupy 6,500 square feet and plan to sublet the remaining space.

Oshkosh Food Co-op happily say that the opening of its first community-owned grocery store is anticipated to be in the year 2021.