Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Building a Vibrant Co-op Community

Posted by Jan Rasikas, General Manager on Wed, Sep 07, 2016 @ 12:13 PM

What will the expanded VFC look like? Fresh! Exciting! Delicious! Our expanded store will be a reflection of our Co-op Community. As we plan and prepare for the new space, we are inspired by our current store as well as co-ops across the country and get expert support and guidance from the Development Co-op (DC) Consulting Team. What do you want to see from your Co-op? Pop over to our website and leave a comment on the Board of Directors' page!

We are on track to begin the parking lots across Center Avenue in early September 2016. This part of the project is essential to complete before any work on the building begins. More convenient parking benefits the Co-op now and will create safety during construction that is slated for spring of 2017. All three sites – the store, the south parking lot, and the Sidie Lawn Care lot – will blend together when Center Avenue becomes a part of the VFC site.


Click here to download this preliminary
site drawing from our 2016 Autumn Pea Soup.

expansion process infographic


VFC Expansion

Store plans are underway! Construction is expected to begin spring 2017 and will offer:

  • Double the retail space
  • More prepared foods
  • Larger produce department
  • Service meat and seafood counter
  • Indoor and outdoor seating
  • More registers
  • Greatly increased parking
  • More Co-op Economy!
  • More support to local growers and food producers


Our Shared Vision for Expansion

In 2013, our Board of Directors committed to expanding the Co-op. After study, reflection and engagement with owners, our Shared Vision for Expansion emerged.

"When we, Co-op owners and community shoppers, engage in the VFC experience, we contribute to building a vibrant local economy that transforms our community."

  • The VFC experience includes increased access to fresh, local, organic foods with more space to shop and work. More services like meat and seafood, more deli choices, increased seating area inside and out.
  • Building a vibrant economy creates a dynamic local food system, supporting local growers, creating more jobs.
  • Transforming our community through strong partnerships, opportunities for co-op democracy, and more knowledge of nutrition, health and environmental stewardship.


We are committed to the following set of criteria:

  • Continue the transparent, participatory process to ensure support from our Owners
  • Have benefits that outweigh the risks assumed; we will be bold but not risky
  • Allow us to achieve our mission and shared vision
  • Put the Co-op in a strong position to thrive in an increasingly competitive market, and that the community will support our plans
  • Leverage financing for success at affordable rates
  • Create a space that allows for efficient, effective service
  • Ensure the Co-op has the necessary skills, knowledge, leadership and capacity for success; we must be internally ready

    We welcome your ideas and encourage you to send thoughts on what you find exciting about the plans so far and any concerns you may have. Check the website for expansion updates. Send us an email to join our owner email list for expansion updates and to participate in expansion-related surveys.

Tags: Expansion