Oshkosh Food Co-op Celebrates Eighth Birthday with Neighborhood Birthday Bash

(Oshkosh, Wis.) – The Oshkosh Food Co-op, a community-owned grocery store under construction in Oshkosh, plans a week of free, family-friendly activities for member-owners and neighborhood residents to mark its eighth birthday. Two neighborhood rides and a birthday bash are planned.

Neighborhood Ride #1: Saturday, June 5, - 1:00 p.m. | Led by Sean Lynch
Starts/ends at the Brio Building, 155 Jackson Street, Oshkosh
Middle Village, Historic Fourth Ward, Midtown, Menominee North and Menominee South (7 miles)

Neighborhood Ride #2: Thursday, June 10 – 6:00 p.m. | Led by Misty McPhee, Darren Van Dreel
Starts/ends at Brio Building, 155 Jackson Street, Oshkosh
River East, Stevens Park (3 miles)

Neighborhood Birthday Bash: Saturday, June 12 – 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Aurora Health Center – Jackson Street Clinic, 135 Jackson Street, Oshkosh

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Oshkosh Food Co-op to Host Job Fairs May 26, June 2, June 5

(Oshkosh, Wis.) – The Oshkosh Food Co-op, a community-owned grocery store slated to open late summer/early fall 2021, will host hiring events May 26 and June 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; also Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The hiring events will be held at the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 120 Jackson Street, Oshkosh – which is located across the street from the food co-op store being constructed on the first floor of the Brio Building.

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National Food Co-op Group Names Oshkosh Food Co-op “Best of the Best” for 2020-2021

(Oshkosh, Wis.) – Food Co-op Initiative (FCI) awarded Oshkosh Food Co-op the coveted national Best of the Best Award at its annual “Up and Coming” Food Co-op Conference. The award was presented as part of the 5-day learning event, held virtually this year due to the pandemic. The award recognizes exceptional use of an existing co-op development best practice by a startup food co-op during the development process. It honors startup food co-ops that use best practices and illuminate the way forward to help peer co-ops reach new levels of success.

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New Day, New Phase, New Logo for Oshkosh Food Co-op

Oshkosh Food Co-op Logo

(Oshkosh, WI) – In preparation for the opening of the community-owned grocery store later this year, the Oshkosh Food Co-op has introduced a new logo to replace the tractor logo used throughout its start-up phase. The food co-op, the first in Northeast Wisconsin, is entering a new phase as it prepares to open in late summer/early fall 2021.

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Oshkosh Food Co-op Posts Banner Year in 2021 State of the Co-op Report

At its eighth annual meeting, Oshkosh Food Co-op board and management laid out high aspirations for 2021: Growing membership to 1800, engaging neighbors in the USDA-designated food desert that surrounds the co-op’s location at the corner of Jackson Street and Pearl Avenue, building a Food for All program that supports low-income customers, securing a tenant for Co-op’s extra space, available for expansion but not needed for start-up operations and, most importantly, opening the retail grocery store.

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Oshkosh Food Co-op Buildout Begins

(Oshkosh, Wis.) – The Oshkosh Food Co-op, which will occupy the first floor of the new Brio Building at 155 Jackson Street, will soon look like a co-op grocery store.  The project, eight years in the making, begins construction this week on a well-crafted architectural plan for a full-line member-owned grocery store.  

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2021 Board Candidates

We are very excited to announce this year's Oshkosh Food Co-op slate of candidates!

Each year, three board positions are open for election. Board members hold positions for three-year terms, and elections are held in the first half of every year. 

2021 Board of Directors Candidate Slate

Please click the links below to read the nomination statement that each of the outstanding candidates has prepared as you consider your vote!

You will have the opportunity to vote for up to three candidates.

Who is eligible to vote: Every primary member (each member household gets one vote) that became a member on or before March 8, 2021 is eligible to vote in the Board of Directors election.

How to cast your vote: 

  • All voting is online this year!  An email was sent to each eligible primary member through Election Runner at 12:05 am, March 8, 2021.
  • If you did not receive an online ballot and are a member of the co-op, please email us with updated contact information and we will confirm your membership and send you a ballot. Please note, each membership receives one ballot; voting instructions are sent to to the primary member's email address.
  • Online elections will close at midnight on March 31, 2021. Additional instructions are included in the email. 

When will winners of the Board of Directors election be announced?

The outcome of the election will be announced at our Annual Meeting on April 7.  The meeting is online this year and will include the latest updates on our progress towards opening the Oshkosh Food Co-op later this summer!  Sign up here to attend the OFC Annual Meeting!

 If you have any questions, you can contact us by email at [email protected]

 Thanks in advance for using your voice in this very important Co-op process.

2021 Board of Directors Nominations Now Open

Dear Oshkosh Food Co-op Members,

This is the official notice of openings for the Oshkosh Food Co-op Board of Directors!

This is a terrific opportunity to become involved in a meaningful community project with a team of passionate and dedicated individuals. It's all hands on deck as we move toward opening our store in Oshkosh's central city this summer!

All member-owners are eligible to run. Those with skills in merchandising, retail sales, marketing, and cultural inclusion are strongly encouraged to throw their hat in the ring.

Interested candidates are welcome to attend an info session:


Interested candidates are welcome to attend a virtual info session:

  • Wednesday January 13th from 7-8 pm
  • Saturday, February 6th from 9-10 am

Please send Vice President Molly Smiltneek an email if you're interested in attending or would like to schedule a one-on-one meeting to get your questions answered.

If you are interested in running for the board, please:

Questions can be directed to [email protected]

2020: One for the books

One year ago:

  • We had raised $572,211 of our $1.6 million Capital Campaign goal.
  • We were at 1,107 member-owners
  • Our lease had a contingency requiring us to successfully complete our capital campaign.
  • We heard the market for hiring a General Manager was competitive.

So much has shifted over the past 12 months, but one thing has not: our community's dedication to opening a member-owned grocery store in Oshkosh.

Here are a few of the ways we continued to strengthen local economies, promote health, and build communities and our milestones along the way.

Completing our 1.6 million dollar Capital Campaign.  With over 600 member-owners and community leaders participating, we raised $1,615,830 towards our start-up costs, prompting the Board of Directors to vote to move ahead with our lease at the Brio Building.

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Co-op Grow-Op Live Schedule and Giveaways

Join us on Saturday October 10 and Sunday October 11 for a LIVE broadcast on Facebook and YouTube featuring the following member-owner guests!

Are you a member and are willing to host a watch party? Learn more here.

Follow the event on facebook for more exciting updates!

Saturday, October 10th  10 am-4 pm

10:00 Board Chair Brenda Haines and volunteer Natalie Johnson welcome you to Co-op Grow-Op LIVE 2020, sponsored in part from a donation from Thrivent

10:10 We're live from the Oshkosh Farmers Market, speaking with Manager Michelle Schmid.

10:30 It's coffee time! Member-owner Ken Osmond, owner of Planet Perk, shows us how to make the perfect pour over coffee

10:50 Namaste! Member-owner Lea Ann Schneider, owner of Embody Yoga, teaches us some everyday yoga poses for everyone.

11:10 Member-owner and volunteer committee rockstar Marlo Ambas and his wife Patricia give us a glimpse inside his work for the co-op and their downtown Oshkosh restaurant, Manila.

11:30 Justin Duell, owner of G Farm, gives us a tour of his business.

11:50 Member-owner Trent Wester, owner of Thunderbird Bakery, educates on the history of sourdough and how to keep your sourdough starter healthy at home.

12:20 Why local? Member-owner and organic farmer Danielle Boerson tells us why from her booth at the Oshkosh Farmers Market

12:40 Member-owner Keri Uselman, owner of Wellness Essentials, does a cooking demo for us.

1:00 It's 5:00 somewhere... member-owner Ryan Prellwitz, owners of Vines and Rushes, gives us a tour of his facility and a glimpse into the winemaking process.

1:20 Founding co-op member-owner and graphic designer Drew Mueske speaks about his process and inspiration behind designing the Oshkosh Food Co-ops new logo, scheduled for release in November 2020.

1:40 Member-owner Deb Toman, owner of Atomic Katz, speaks about the sustainability of vintage clothing and products, while giving us a glimpse of some of their favorite Fall fashions.

2:00 Member-owner Deb Sommerhalder, owner of Inner Sun Yoga, demonstrates and educates us in sound therapy.

2:20 Member-owner Chanda Anderson, owner of Caramel Crisp, cooks up some fresh caramel corn and shows us some great local products available in her shop.

2:40 Fizzzzzzz. Member-owner Cory Tellock, owner of Pilora's and Joi Kombucha, explains the process of fermenting and bottling his  kombucha.

3:00 Sit for a moment while member-owner Kat Bettger, certified yoga instructor, speaks to us about the benefits of meditation and guides us in a short session.

3:20 Fast Food... Member-owner Megan Bartelt, owner of Bartelt Holistic Health and Carrot & Kale, shows us how to make a delicious and nutritious smoothie.

3:40 Cheers! Steve Bork, manager of McKnight Carlson, helps us pick out a wine for your everyday table.

Sunday, October 11th  10 am-4 pm

10:10 Member-owner Brad Spanbauer, UWO Associate Lecturer of Biology and Campus Sustainability Coordinator, speaks to us about simple changes you can make to live a more sustainable life.

10:30 Time for another cup? Member-owner Carol Velasco, manager of the Howard, has their talented baristas show how to make a specialty Fall coffee drink.

10:50 Hungry yet? Member-owner Mike England, Chef of TJ's Highlands, makes a delicious, Fall inspired brunch dish.

11:10 Member-owner Bill Thimke, owner of Black Pearl Coffee Roasters, speaks about the history and process of coffee production and roasting.

11:30 Moooooove over! Board Member Melissa Weyland gives us a glimpse into the life of the cows on their pasture.

11:50 Member-owner and CEO of Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation Jason White shares his excitement for our project and why it's an important development for Oshkosh.

12:20 Brio Building Update.  Member-owner and Operations Partner Joy Hanneman gives us a history and update on the Brio Building, where our Oshkosh Food Co-op will be located.

12:40 Live from Vermont, member-owner and Seven Roots Co-op Consultant Kevin O'Donnell shares the work that has been happening on our grab-and-go and deli offerings.

1:00 Member-owners Marti and Dick Norton demonstrate how to press apple cider on their very own antique press.

1:20 Board Member, organic farmer, and member-owner Tracy Vinz and her husband Dick give a tour of their certified organic farm Olden Organics, speaking about how they continue to grow through the Wisconsin winters.

1:40 Library Adventures with member-owner Marie Boleman, Head of Children’s and Family Outreach Services at the Oshkosh Public Library. 

2:00 Becca Schoenberg, outreach coordinator of Menomonie Market (a co-op!) gives us a tour of their store.

2:20 Hiring committee rockstar and member-owner Michelle Hammett gives us an exciting update on the hiring of our General Manager.

2:40  How did this co-op start? Oshkosh Food Co-op Founder Bridgette Weber shares the story of our co-op from its inception in 2013.  (Nationally, it takes 5-7 years to open a co-op, by the way.)

3:00  Former Board Chair and founding member Kelly Matthews shares some insight into the early days of this project.

3:20 Apples for apples? Member-owners Lori and John Redmond of Redmond's Apple Basket Orchard give us a tour on their growing orchard outside of Ripon, WI.

3:40 It's beer o'clock.  Member-owner Ian Wenger, founder of Fifth Ward Brewery, shows us their facility, a glimpse into the process, and shares some of their new seasonal flavors.

Hourly Giveaways

Saturday, October 10

10-11 am  Pound of coffee from Planet Perk

11-Noon  Pastry pack from Thunderbird Bakery: classic croissant, pain au chocolat, cinnamon roll and seasonal galette

Noon-1 pm  Locally grown, certified organic carving pumpkin from Boerson Farm

1 pm-2 pm  Free yoga class from Inner Sun Yoga

2 pm-3 pm  $10 Caramel Crisp or Pilora's Gift Card

3 pm-4 pm  Bottle of wine from McKnight & Carlson


Sunday, October 11

10-11 am  $10 Gift Card to the Cafe at the Howard

11-Noon  Coupon for a gallon of Organic Valley milk and a Caramel Crisp cookie

Noon-1 pm  Bourbon barrel aged maple syrup from Uncle Mike's Maple Syrup

1 pm-2 pm  $10 Caramel Crisp Gift Card

2 pm-3 pm  Organic Valley pasture raised butter with a loaf of Thunderbird Sourdough bread

3 pm-4 pm  Growler and coupon for a fill from Fifth Ward


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