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Wild Root Market


2012 in Review

Happy New Year Wild Root Market Owners and Supporters!  As 2013 kicks off we are feeling renewed energy and excitement around all that will transpire this year to make Wild Root Market a reality.

As of today we have 500 Member-Owners! This is quite a milestone and we couldn’t have done it without you. That leaves only 175 additional Member-Owners to reach the necessary threshold of 675 Member-Owners to move forward on a site. As we move into the final phase of development, a ton of behind-the-scenes work has been accomplished by our 9-Member Board and our excellent and committed cadre of committee volunteers and ambassadors.

Here is just SOME of what kept us busy in 2012:

  • Processed almost 250 new member-ownership subscriptions which involved retrieving mail, making deposits, sending membership cards and printing, assembling, and sending welcome kits.
  • Prepared our initial financial projections (pro-forma) and formal business plan. These will continue to be updated as new information becomes available and circumstances evolve.
  • Many Board members attended relevant co-op conferences and educational symposiums.
  • Recruited three new Board members with expertise in finance, accounting, operations and marketing.
  • Implemented a new working structure for the Board that better fits our needs in this next phase of development with the help of Beth Gilmore at Results Productivity Coaching.
  • Updated and revised our corporate website with the help of Westwords Consulting.
  • Set up online payments on our website and sent out quarterly statements (electronically).
  • Harnessed technology to improve our ability to communicate with and schedule our volunteers for events.  (VolunteerSpot allows on-line sign-up for events and our Yammer Volunteer network keeps all our volunteers connected.) 
  • Developed high-quality, multi-media marketing materials for educational and promotional purposes.
  • Conducted three training sessions for new volunteers.
  • Prepared for and held Wild Root Market’s First Annual Membership Meeting, ratifying the bylaws and electing new board members.
  • Submitted grants for specific funding opportunities.

Site work:

  • Vetted the final three sites in consideration for the Wild Root Market store with the help of Bukacek Construction, FWC Architects and the Site Committee comprised of Jim Chambers, Gregg Thompson, Monte Osterman, Jon Behrends, and Mark Paffrath.
  • A scope of work document was prepared outlining the major aspects of work anticipated at each location and establishing building code requirements for the intended use. Bukacek Construction brought major sub-contractors through each of the three sites and provided preliminary cost estimate spreadsheets for each of the proposed renovations.
  • Retained real estate attorney, John Schneider, Ambassador Title, to guide us in our forthcoming real estate transaction.

We also conducted substantial outreach to current and future Member-Owners:

  • Participated in over 60 community events with a volunteer-staffed event table.
  • Hosted over 15 “Out & Abouts” as opportunities for the public to meet our Board members.
  • Spoke to over a dozen community groups.
  • Conducted a "field trip" for owners and prospective owners to the Bayview location of Outpost Natural Foods to learn what makes a co-op so special.  The group also visited the South Shore Farmers Market.
  • Composed seven (7) emailed Newsletters with updates.
  • Posted multiple Blog updates in Caledonia Patch.
  • Established an easy-to-replicate protocol for House Party Potlucks and shared the Wild Root story at seven (7) House Parties.  (The process we established is now featured nationally through the Food Coop Initiative to other start-ups.)
  • Created 358 Facebook posts and increased our Facebook “Likes” by 30%.  (As of 12/31/12 we had 1090 “Likes.”)
  • Produced our first Board member video update.
  • Participated in a CAR25 video interview to educate the public about Wild Root Market.
  • With the help of Chris Kann of CSK Marketing, we conducted focus groups of non-Member-Owners to collect focused market research.
  • Created t-shirts (for volunteers); window clings and buttons (for Member-Owners) and tote bags (for purchase) to increase our visibility.

And we initiated important collaborative efforts throughout the community:

  • Developed and maintained relationships with key community leaders and influencers.
  • Established community and business partners who are providing discounts NOW to Wild Root Market Member-Owners:

Out of the Pan - 10% off anytime in the restaurant.

Circa Celeste cafe - $ .50 off the beverage of your choice on Wednesdays. 

Pink Magnolia –20% off anytime in the restaurant.

Larsen Bakery – 5% off anytime

Robert's Roost -- One dozen donut holes

Body Wellness - $10 off any massage until June 2013

Wild Tree Herbs –- 10% off Wild Tree products

  • Connected with several of the larger companies headquartered in Racine to further the concept of Corporate Partners by discussing the many ways in which they would be willing and able to creatively collaborate on this project.
  • Partnered with a number of local businesses to host “Membership Rallies,” the business version of a House Party.  Our initial rally at George’s Tavern drew in 55 participants and resulted in 13 new Member-Owners.
  • Collaborated with Racine Area congregations, with First Presbyterian leading the initiative, for an inaugural Harvest Sunday to focus attention on issues of local sustainability.  Wild Root Market will serve as a hub for worshipping communities to find resources for liturgies, songs, prayers, and sermons on our website.
  • Collaborated with several key schools and enrichment agencies that have begun to shift some focus towards kids (educating the next generation of cooperators).

And, after all this effort – whew! – we began 2013 with 500 Member-Owners!  That’s an almost 100 % increase in one year and puts us just 175 Member-Owners away from our goal of 675 which will allow us to secure a  site and announce our future location.

So, with that quick review of our work in 2012, we are poised to re-double our efforts this year as we push toward bringing Wild Root Market to fruition! 

Thank you for your continued support…we're so close...Make a resolution to help us by recruiting new Member-Owners, promoting the project by purchasing (and proudly displaying) Wild Root Market merchandise or hosting a House Party. If you're aware of other opportunities to promote the market, please let us know at We hope you enjoy a healthy, bountiful and happy new year.

Your Wild Root Market Board

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