Board's Eye View

Viroqua Food Co-op: A Center for Community

Posted on Tue, Nov 04, 2014 @ 05:09 PM

Shawna ConnorWinter appears to be coming…we’ve had multiple frosts outdoors, the baskets of gloves and scarves are out of hiding, but proof positive is the fact that the wood stove is already hard at work keeping the old, drafty farmhouse warm.

I write this to you as my children and husband are playing a board game at the dining room table, no doubt with my son anticipating his big win and trying to hold it together if a loss should come his way.

This scene and these people I know so well—by day working hard preparing for another Wisconsin winter and acclimating ourselves to winter activities and darkness that comes too soon. Soon attentions will turn to shoveling and sledding, holidays and gifts. For months now I have been keeping my eyes peeled while shopping at the Viroqua Food Co-op for fabulous and unique gifts that my family will love to candlesreceive this Christmas. The Co-op shopping experience is as pleasurable as the gift giving itself due to the staff—masters of their trades—and their attention to what is local, handmade and just plain fabulous. It’s as though nearly everything inside the walls of the VFC was chosen with us in mind (because it was).

It is true for many of us, owners and future owners, that the VFC is like a second home and an extension of our family—as familiar at times as sitting around the farmhouse table playing a board game. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that I kept a Kickapoo second-grader occupied with some snacks, crayons, coloring books and compelling games of tic-tac-toe in the VFC “dining room.”

The VFC mission is to provide access to healthy foods but marries this success perfectly with a healthy dose of community. During a typical shopping experience I see as many folks catching up on conversation with one other as I see in the checkout lane…with the line at the deli counter offering plenty of opportunity!

This winter, when the weather outside is less than favorable, I look forward to visiting with the folks who have become my extended family in a place that I consider as comfortable, and sometimes warmer, than home. I believe I will recommend to my fellow Board members that our Coffee with the Board events this winter include a game of charades, hang-man, tic-tac-toe or similar just to bring this picture full circle. But be warned: in my family, we have this thing about losing!

When 2015 arrives, the Board of Directors and VFC staff will explore in great detail what the continued growth of the VFC family means for the future of this Co-op that serves as the heart of our tight-knit community. We are grateful for your conversation, participation and genuine interest in the future of the VFC that has brought us so far.

Many thanks for your continued support of the work that is done here every day with the membership in mind. We are thankful for your dedication to this Co-op and look forward to celebrating another holiday season and year with you, our extended family.

In cooperation,
Shawna Connor, Board of Directors

Tags: Board of Directors