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Woody Tasch, author of “Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered” and founder of the Slow Money Movement, talks about the movement and about getting people together who grow, transport, sell, and consume locally grown good food.
When you listen to Woody Tasch speak, you’ll hear him use the term “foodshed”. There is a useful Wikipedia discussion here. “A foodshed is the geographic region that produces the food for a particular population…”
It is with sincere disappointment that we announce we were unable to secure 1101 Grove Avenue in West Racine for the Wild Root Market.
As has been communicated previously, our contingent contract for the site allowed us six months to conduct a thorough review of the land and building, as well as develop renovation and store furnishing/equipment estimates that would allow us to finalize our financial pro forma.
Due diligence disclosed that renovation costs for the site were more than anticipated. Working with experts in construction and financial feasibility, the consensus was that the building was too costly for Wild Root Market to acquire and renovate. With this information, we attempted to renegotiate the offer, but were unsuccessful. Without a substantial reduction in the purchase price, it would have been impossible to create a feasible financial pro forma for the business.
We share the community’s disappointment that we were unable to secure this site, despite its advantages. However our fiduciary duty to our Member-Owners is always to make sound business decisions based on the facts. Our financial projections indicated that the business would not be sustainable. Our next step would have been to raise money through loans made by our Member-Owners and we could not in good conscience have asked you to invest in this project at this time.
Where do we go from here?
The good news is that we have over 750 Member-Owners who want a cooperative grocery store in Racine and we are as determined as ever to make that happen!
We gained valuable experience working to secure the Grove Avenue site and navigating the due diligence process, so we are in a much better position to work quickly to assess alternate sites.
As many of you are aware, in 2011 we solicited a market study to evaluate three initial sites that met the Board’s criteria for store size, parking and access. Based on that study and subsequent preliminary evaluations, Grove Avenue had the greatest potential for projected sales and the lowest anticipated renovation costs, which made it our obvious first choice. Of the other two sites we initially evaluated, one of those, the Century Market, is no longer available and the other was deemed unfeasible due to high projected renovation costs and low estimated sales. With those sites “off the table,” so to speak, we are actively pursuing and evaluating possible new sites. As before, we will keep specifics confidential until we are in a position to secure another site.
Our transparency about this unfortunate outcome with the West Racine site should reassure our Member-Owners and the Racine community that we are committed to making sound business decisions, even though the process may take longer than any of us would like. We are grateful for your trust and support and will work quickly to evaluate other site options and keep the process moving forward.
We understand many of you will have questions and we want you to know we are available to answer them to the best of our ability. You may direct your questions to any Board member specifically or to the Board generally at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also be holding an information/listening session for Member-Owners and the public on June 17 at 6:30 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in West Racine. For complete event details, please see below, or click here.
The Racine Journal Times ran a story on the front page of the June 10th edition, about Wild Root Market’s decision to turn attention away from the former Piggly Wiggly grocery store.
Video of our Annual Meeting, held April 14, 2014.
If you were unable to attend the 2014 meeting, this video will bring you completely up-to-date. (Please note that if the video does not seem to start at the beginning, you can use your cursor to drag the progress indicator back to the left side to start over.)
This in-depth story about Wild Root Market appeared March 27, 2014 in the Racine Journal Times’ special section, Racine County Open For Business.
Wisconsin ranks in the top ten, at eighth, according to this article. Texas ranks worst, with Illinois at eighth worst. Here is another article about the same report.
Thanks to our friends at Racine TV for this terrific promotional video shot on location at the Wild Root Market Annual Owners’ Meeting on April 14 at First Presbyterian Church in Racine.
Take a look! And then check out RacineTV at http://racine.tv/ for more good news about Racine!