Whitewater Grocery Co. continues outreach efforts

By Dave Fidlin

Compared to its peers across the U.S., the sprouting Whitewater Grocery Co. holds the distinction of being the fastest growing, according to a local entrepreneur who helms the cooperative’s board of directors.

Lacey Reichwald, board president, recently discussed the series of behind-the-scenes maneuvers that are taking place in the bid to turn Whitewater Grocery Co. from concept to reality. Reichwald gave members of the city’s Community Development Authority a presentation on planning efforts March 22.

As of the CDA meeting, Reichwald reported Whitewater Grocery Co. has brought on board 352 owners. Reichwald and others on the cooperative’s board have asserted 800 to 1,000 owners are needed to begin the heavy lifting of constructing a new facility or reconfiguring an existing space.

The cooperative also has set up residence within the Whitewater Innovation Center, leasing office space for back office functions as behind-the-scenes planning progresses. Reichwald said office hours will be held for persons interested in learning more about plans for the grocery store.

Reichwald and a small handful of others closely associated with planning Whitewater Grocery Co.’s logistics recently attended a conference geared toward professionals in the cooperative space.

Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture made the conference attendance possible, Reichwald said.

“We were able to divide and conquer on each track of the conference,” Reichwald said. “We were able to learn a lot.”

Whitewater Grocery Co. also has funded a study on its feasibility in Whitewater, Reichwald said, and findings provided fruitful, encouraging results.

For more on Whitewater Grocery Co., pick up the April 12 edition of the Whitewater Register.

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