Founding Owners: You Rock!
Only two weeks into our month-long Founding Owners Campaign for Wild Root Market and we are thrilled with the response and show of support! Over one hundred of you have already submitted your ownership forms and payments. Thanks to all of you, we have been able to make contact with the marketing/feasibility consultants (who specialize in cooperatives, by the way) to give them the green light. We're awaiting word on when they can slot us in and begin the study.
We've heard a number of comments from folks who have chosen to wait until a location has been announced before deciding to join. We get that. What we ask you to remember is that owner economic participation is one of the defining features of any cooperative. This is a community
effort after all, one that will bring jobs, tax revenues and, most importantly, fresh, natural foods to our area, regardless of where it's located. There will be a convenience factor, undoubtedly, but the grand prize here is the existence of the market itself. Many have already voiced opinions and ideas on a variety of subjects, including location, and for that we are grateful. We hear you and, in the best interests of our current and future owners, we're following solid business practices which start with this marketing/feasibility study. Nobody wins if we don't have solid data to back up our decisions and location is one of the most important decisions we will be making!
In the meantime, we ask Founding Owners to continue to spread the word about the future market and respectfully request those still on the fence to jump in. Be a part of Wild Root Market's success. Today!
As a reminder, interested parties may print and complete the Founding Owner Equity Share Payment form which can be found on our website (www.wildrootmarket.com), and mail it with your $50 by August 31st to Wild Root Market, P.O. Box 443, Racine, WI 53401. The three remaining installments will be due quarterly until the equity share is paid in full (thereby granting you voting rights). While ownership will be available at any time, only those who commit by the August 31st deadline will be considered Wild Root Market Founding Owners.
Appreciatively and eagerly,
Your Wild Root Market Founding Team
Meet an Owner
Brian Ray, Owner of Belle City Vet
My journey from conspicuous consumer to semi-self-sustaining loca-vore.
After my father passed away at an early age, my mother would take us on summer-long car vacations, often visiting as many as 15 states as we "cousined" our way around the south. One of my favorite stops was my cousin Russell's farm in Shorter, Alabama. There were tractors, horses, all nature of fowl and hound roaming about and did I mention tractors? These idealistic rural experiences at such a young age instilled in me a sense of awe about rural life.
"If my mom ever re-marries, please let it be to a farmer," I hoped. Well, she did!
My life is certainly richer for the experience of working on a large, industrial-style family farm. Learning to be a jack-of-all-trades and knowing in a very real way what "hard" work means are valuable life lessons. Suffice it to say that reality did not match the bucolic fantasy that had been percolating in my brain. Apparently, my childhood vision of the agrarian life went out of style a few generations before I was born (think "The Waltons"). I couldn't have been happier to shake the Kansas dust off my shoes and seek my own way in the world.
So off I went! To college, veterinary school, getting my first "real" job, marriage, home ownership, parenthood, business ownership. Through all these experiences, we've gained what we hope is a modicum of wisdom about life, how we all fit together in the world and how our decisions and actions affect others. The desire to grow, fix and build things with our hands has always been there. We attempted to satisfy that itch by landscaping and gardening, converting rooms or garages into workshops or by dreaming about what would constitute our ideal home. Regardless, one thing we knew: the sun was going to warm our skin and dirt was going to take up permanent residence under our fingernails.
Everything finally gelled one afternoon while I was exploring our fine corner of the state on my bicycle. I'm not the head-down-go-'til-it-hurts kind of cyclist. I like to take note of the flora and fauna and all the different places people call "home". While approaching an intersection out in the country, I noticed a "For Sale" sign on a neat little farmhouse replete with a barn, a dairy building and silo. This was on a Friday afternoon. We signed the contract the next Wednesday. We had the good fortune to become the next family of caretakers to a six-acre, 120+ year old farmstead.
Jumping from the dream to the reality of exploring a more self-sufficient relationship with what we eat (and the subsequent impact we have on the earth) has opened the door to a wider community of like-minded people.
The punchline is that we did this to fulfill an unrequited childhood fantasy of mine. An over-simplification to be sure, but to see that fantasy flesh itself out every time we step through the door sustains our desire to continue exploring how much we can do for ourselves.
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