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June 01, 2011

Roch. co-op mulls merger, development

Here's some from a piece I have in today's paper about the Good Food Co-op's board proposing a merger with a La Crosse co-op as forerunner to a plan to develop a larger grocery store in downtown Rochester.

The board of Rochester's Good Food Co-op is proposing a move downtown and a merger with a larger Wisconsin cooperative.

Good Food's 1,500 members will vote on the proposed merger with La Crosse People’s Food Co­‐op this summer, the co-op announced today in a news conference at the store at 1001 Sixth St. N.W.
Store Front
The La Crosse food store will ask the same question of its 4,300 members.

The plan is for the La Crosse store to manage the Rochester co-op and guide it through a move and expansion into the anchor for a proposed development at First Avenue and Sixth Street Southwest.

"We expect our members to see the benefits. We expect them to participate in the visioning process as this moves forward," says Dan Litwiller, president of the Good Food Co-op. "We think it is a win-win for La Crosse, for the Good Food Store and the city of Rochester as well."

Joining with the La Crosse group makes sense, he says, because its leadership has experience with the type of expansion that joining the Gerrard Corp.'s proposed multi-use development will entail.

"We're looking to them as a strategic partnership," Litwiller said. "We'd like to leverage their experience."


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