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Wild Root Celebrates Early Successes

Racine---A new food cooperative that aims to open a full-service grocery store that’ll specialize in locally and organically-produced food says it’s pleased with early-going fundraising.

Wild Root recently launched a $4.8 million capital campaign. The co-op already has over one-thousand investors, each of whom purchased at least one, $200 share to get into the game. Of those members, 28 have additionally committed to loaning the co-op a total of $132,000.  

Wild Root traces its beginnings to a kitchen table discussion among friends, according to co-op President Rose Nelson. "They were dreaming of a place in Racine where they could get fresh and local food," Nelson said, adding, "They were often driving to Milwaukee for that."

Eventually, the group consulted with some cooperative experts. "And the idea of Wild Root took hold," Nelson said.  

With a deli and a community meeting room, Wild Root hopes to become an educational and social hub, promoting the value of healthy eating.

Another community benefit is the store’s location, in a vacant building about a block west of the Racine Zoo, an area that’s officially designated as a food desert for its lack of a full-service grocer.

Nelson says Wild Root is currently in the process of hiring a general manager, and hopes to open a year from now.

The full conversation with the Wild Root representatives is available here.