FAQ's

Below are some questions we hear often.  Do you have a question you don't see answered below?  Ask away!

Why should I join now?

A:

Because the sooner you join, the sooner Oshkosh Food Co-op will open: as a cooperatively owned business, we need YOU to be able to open the doors. Become a founding member and when the store opens, you will know that you were truly one of the ones who made it possible. The sale of founding shares in the co-op will help us build the community support and raise the financial backing necessary to open the store. The names of all founding member-owners will also be prominently displayed in the store to remind us that we are, collectively, the owners of our own food source!

Who benefits from the co-op?

A:

A co-op exists primarily for the benefit of its members. Many co-ops also support other parts of the community through various programs and philanthropic activities as part of their commitment to cooperative values and principles.

A Food Co-op also benefits local farmers and producers who can sell their products at our store.  

How much is the membership fee?

A:

A full membership share is $180. This is a one-time fee that covers your whole household. There are a variety of payment options available starting at $11. Click here to get more information.

Will only members be able to shop at the store?

A:

The store will be open to the public and anyone will be able to shop there.

Where else can I use my membership?

A:

Many other Food Cooperatives (but not all) will honor your Oshkosh Food Co-op membership.  This may give you access to member discounts and specials within their store.  

Where will the store be located?

A:

The grocery store will be located in Central Oshkosh, a USDA designated food desert.  In addition to providing grocery options for people living in that area, our goal is to add a vibrant and busy store to the revitalized central city.  

Currently, our site selection committee is narrowing down locations to present to our Board of Directors.  They have been given a list of criteria to follow that includes square footage preferences, proximity to public transit, visibility, parking, and green space, to name a few.

Due to the competitive nature of the market, we have learned that keeping this information private is an important way to ensure our location search is a success.  For the latest progress, become a member to ensure you're up to date with the latest site selection news!

When will the store open?

A:
The short answer is, FIRST, become a member and buy a share.  
It takes member/owners and support to create and support a Food Co-op.
SECOND, participate in our capital campaign!  Stay tuned for more details on this exciting milestone.

Because the capital to open a cooperatively-owned grocery comes from individuals across the community instead of a single private investor or corporation, we rely on member investments (YOU!) to provide the necessary funds to open our store–it is our member-owner equity that will leverage further financing to open the doors. We have a current goal of 1,200 member shares sold, so the best way to accelerate the opening process is to become a member.

Is my membership tax deductible?

A:

The Oshkosh Food Co-op is a business, owned by members.  Profits are returned to the co-op and to the members.  It qualifies as a not-for-profit, but not a NON-profit.  Therefore, donations to the co-op are not tax-deductible.

Are member-owners held responsible for any debt or any other liabilities from the Co-op?

A:
Cooperative member/owners have limited liability of co-op debts and other liabilities. So in short, no, you cannot be sued individually for personal assets. The risk to an individual member in a co-op business is limited to the loss of their investment in their co-op and not more. 
This is outlined in Wisconsin Cooperative Statues: 185.37(2) -  Liability of directors and members
https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/185.pdf

 

The Oshkosh Food Co-op's attorney also provided this specific language:
185.37  Liability of directors and members.

185.37(1)(1)  Directors who negligently or in bad faith vote for any distribution of assets contrary to this chapter or the articles are jointly and severally liable to the cooperative for the value of assets distributed in excess of the amount which could have been distributed without violating this chapter or the articles. Section 185.367 does not apply to the liability of directors under this subsection.

185.37(2) (2) Members, stockholders and patrons of a cooperative are neither obligated to pay, nor liable upon, any cooperative obligation, except that stockholders are liable to an amount equal to the par value of their shares for debts due an employee for not more than 6 months’ service to the cooperative.

History: 1985 a. 30 s. 42; 1987 a. 13.

I have another question you didn’t answer here. Who can I talk to?

A:

We would love to hear from you! Contact the Oshkosh Food Co-op at oshkoshfoodcoop@gmail.com


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