FAQ's

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

Where will the store be located?

A:

Our grocery store will be located on the corner of Jackson and Pearl in central Oshkosh, a USDA designated food desert. 

The co-op will occupy a section of the first floor of the Brio Building, the first of 3 new buildings planned in Merge Urban Development Group's  in Oshkosh's newest opportunity zone project.

The site was carefully selected by the Site Team based on the following criteria:

1) Sales projections for the location - The co-op worked with an external market research firm to develop sales projections for finalist locations. Sales projections are based, in part, on traffic counts (among other factors.) The selected site at Jackson and Pearl had the most promising sales projections among sites evaluated - which made the location attractive.

2) Lease/purchase costs for each site - Because the co-op was open to buying and/or leasing, the Site Team considered the financial impacts of both options. We also worked to negotiate competitive lease rate for the current location, made possible, in part, because the site is an Opportunity Zone - a formerly blighted, industrial site designated by the City of Oshkosh for redevelopment under the 2017 Tax Reform Act.
3) Tenant improvement allowance - An additional consideration in decision-making was the allowance the landlord(s) would provide to the co-op to aid in the buildout of the store.
4) Adequate parking - While not a direct financial factor, parking can impact store sales. This location allows the co-op to meet the recommended number of designated parking spaces for co-op shoppers.
When we considered the collective impact of these factors for this site and a range of other buildings, the Brio Building rose to the top of the list of finalists.

When will the store open?

A:
Construction of the Brio Building is happening quickly on the corner of Jackson and Pearl.    The co-op's build out will begin in the spring and is projected to be complete in late summer.  

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!

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.  

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.  We qualify as a not-for-profit, but not a NON-profit.  Therefore, memberships 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 [email protected]


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