After years of preparation the Dubuque Food Co-op opened for it’s members Monday morning.
Like other eastern Iowa food co-ops, employees sell local and organic foods. And the co-op members are also the store’s owners.
It’s like old home week, at the new home of Dubuque’s food Co-op.
Co-op Board Member Karla Braig said, “There are fresh vegetables and there’s all kinds of stuff. It’s open!”
Finally open! Braig and the rest of the Co-op’s board of directors, have been planning and fundraising for almost 5 years.
Board President, Andy Mozena said, “There’s membership investment as well as we sold additional shares and took loans from our members. So in total we raised $1.4 million to get the store open. “
Hundreds of those members came to get a good look at the place, find fresh food, and make a purchase.
Member Ruth Graper said, “I have my gluten free low sodium soy sauce because I can’t get that anywhere else in town. In the past we had to go to Whole Foods. Or Madison or elsewhere to get that. “
That’s a luxury some shoppers say is long overdue.
“We try to avoid anything that’s really processed. So just having more options for that is very exciting, “ said Member, Jessica Hilborn.
Beyond the produce, employees sell meats, cheeses, health and wellness items, frozen and baked goods. Directors say the things they sell here are free of harmful and toxic ingredients.
“It’s a little more expensive. But they’re your babies! “ said Braig.
The long awaited food co-op is open. Now directors say, it’s success will depend the community to keep supporting it.
On Tuesday, May 6th the store opens to the public. The Food Co-op is located at 955 Washington Street in Dubuque. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Shoppers are encouraged to bring reusable bags to carry their purchases home.