Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Local Farmers Creating Resilient Communities

Posted by Johanna Doren, FairShare CSA Coalition on Thu, Jun 25, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

It’s an incredible understatement to say that global pandemics are humbling. They force us to step back and pinpoint what we deem “essential,” to acknowledge the people and services we cannot function without. Farmers – specifically those who grow nutritious food for their community – undoubtedly fall into this category. And they have already been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

Tags: Cooperative, Health, COVID-19

Cooperation Will Get Us Through

Posted by Jan Rasikas, General Manager on Fri, Jun 19, 2020 @ 01:45 PM

The pandemic has opened the eyes of the public to larger complexities of the supply chain and how readily we took its near-flawless performance for granted. VFC is a resilient business based on long-term relationships with our local farmers and food producers – but as you’ve seen, local farms are impacted by the pandemic too. The Co-op’s retail shelves support farmers and protect the strength of our local food economy. Fresh organic produce, local organic eggs and local/ regional grass-fed meats are in good supply here!

Read More

Tags: Cooperative, Wellness/Body Care, Health, COVID-19

Run for the VFC Board of Directors

Posted by VFC Marketing Team on Fri, Jun 12, 2020 @ 03:38 PM

Now is the time to run for a position on the VFC Board of Directors.

Read More

Tags: Board of Directors, Cooperative, open Board seat

Summer 2020 Board News & Views

Posted by Olive Reynolds, VFC Board Memeber on Fri, Jun 12, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

It was exactly one year ago when I was approached about running for the Viroqua Food Co+op’s Board of Directors. I have so much love for this community and all that it has to offer. It has an accepting nature that nurtures and supports the growth of individuals and families. The Viroqua Food Co+op is a priceless centerpiece to Southwest Wisconsin and strives to enrich the lives of all of those it touches whether as a visitor, a shopper, a local community member, or a farmer.

Read More

Tags: Board of Directors, Cooperative

Co-op to Co-op Producer: Rochdale Farms

Posted by VFC Marketing Team on Sun, Oct 06, 2019 @ 02:00 PM

Co-op to Co-op Producer: Small Family Farm


Rochdale Farms Co-op partners with several small-scale, multi-generational farms, craft producers and cheese makers to bring their products to food cooperatives throughout the Midwest.

Read More

Tags: cooperatively-owned business, Cooperative, Rochdale Farms, Co-op to Co-op

Let's Celebrate Our Cooperative

Posted by Jan Rasikas, General Manager on Tue, Oct 01, 2019 @ 02:00 PM

Ownership is a big deal at the Viroqua Food Co+op! The 4,213 folks that have invested $75 in the Co-op are the owners of VFC. We’re a community-owned enterprise that exists to serve you. In return, our owners keep profits and wages in our community and support a wide range of community organizations, small-scale agricultural producers, and programs like Co-op Community Fund and Micro-lending Initiative. October is Co-op Month and it’s a time where we give even more attention to celebrating co-ops and expressing gratitude to VFC Owners for your ongoing patronage.

Read More

Tags: cooperatively-owned business, Cooperative, October – Co-op Month

2017 Co-op Association Scholarship Now Available!

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 04:38 PM

Viroqua Food Co-op Owner: Is your son or daughter planning on attending a two or four year institution of higher education in 2017? If you answered yes, invite them apply for Vernon County Co-op Association's 2017 Scholarship. The application is now available! 

Read More

Tags: Cooperative, Scholarship, Vernon County Co-op Association, 2017

Farmer Direct Co-op: Producer Co-op to Food Co-op relationship

Posted by Bjorn Bergman on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 12:31 PM

Read More

Tags: small producer, P6, cooperatively-owned business, Cooperative, Co-op/NPO producer

Open Book Management at the Viroqua Food Co-op

Posted by Andrew Anderson on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 01:11 PM

The Viroqua Food Cooperative is undergoing a fundamental shift in the way we run our business and it relies on all the heads in the room.  

A year ago I traveled with two other members of the VFC Management team, Jan Rasikas and Eric Speck, to Zingerman’s Zing Train in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We participated in a three day training based on the principles of Open Book Management. This concept was developed and implemented by Jack Stack at SRC Holdings and expressed in his book The Great Game of Finance. Zingerman’s Delicatessen implemented these same practices in the 1990’s and by 2003 was a completely Open Book Business.  

My assumption walking into the training was that we were going to learn about creative ways to understand balance sheets, read profit-loss statements, and interpret financial statements. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I was completely wrong.

Open Book Management is a system in which everyone in the organization takes responsibility for the effective operation of the business, financial and otherwise.  

This means the business is not being run by a solitary lone figure sitting in an office pulling strings like a puppet master and issuing commands. It also means that our financial information isn’t kept under lock and key and analyzed only by the select few in the inner circle. Instead, the creative forces of all the individuals performing the work are empowered to understand how the business works, why it works and most importantly, what we can do to make things better.

Sounds good, even revolutionary, but is it really possible? If Zingerman’s is any indication of the kind of success that is possible then the answer is a resounding YES! Currently the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses is a 45 million dollar industry with the same small origins as our own dear Co-op.

How does Open Book Management work? It starts with principles we call
 The Three Steps to Great Finance: Know and Teach the Rules, Keep Score and Share the Success.

Read More

Tags: Cooperative, Open Book Management

HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY FUND FOR CO-OPS

Posted by Charlene Elderkin on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 @ 03:45 PM

Two organizations focused on cooperatives are stepping in to enable donations in support of recovery efforts after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy: the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF).

Read More

Tags: Cooperative