Describe your business concept and what makes it unique!
Crow Wing Food Co-op is a cooperatively owned grocery store dedicated to sustaining a healthy and thriving community. Our vision is to open an expanded, modernized Co-op in Downtown Brainerd.
Crow Wing Food Co-op will offer more fresh, local, organic, and allergen-friendly foods and will add a deli, smoothie and juice bar, and small seating area for healthier “fast food” options. A larger Co-op will better connect the community with locally grown food and provide year-round, fresh food access in the center of town.
Crow Wing Food Co-op is member-owned and democratically run. Anyone can join. Non-members are also welcome.
Provide three reasons why this venture will be successful.
Crow Wing Food Co-op was founded in 1979; even with a modest storefront and minimal marketing, the Co-op has grown steadily through 40 years in business.
The Co-op has nearly 1,300 members and assists 40-90 shoppers per day. Expanded inventory, a nicer store, and healthier “fast food” items will provide more opportunities to connect with local families and attract new members.
The organic and local food markets are growing. More families deal with food allergies and dietary restrictions that require careful label reading. A modernized storefront with expanded inventory will help us bring fresh, healthy food to more local families.
How will your business enhance Downtown Brainerd?
Crow Wing Food Co-op will bring more people into Downtown every day. The Co-op currently serves 40-90 customers per day and Co-op shoppers tend to seek out food Co-ops in towns they visit. A larger, more inviting Co-op can be a powerful partner in the effort to revitalize Downtown Brainerd.
What do you want people to know about you?
Food co-ops can be the vibrant center of a healthy community and can help to build strong, sustainable, local food systems. Buying locally grown food directly supports farmers and growers in our community—and those dollars reverberate powerfully through the local economy.
We can buy and eat healthier food and put more of our food budgets back into the local economy—and we can do this as member-owners who collectively benefit as the Co-op grows.
Why should people vote for your business to win the Destination Downtown Business Challenge?
Changing how we buy food can change the way we eat and that can lead to better health. Supporting local farmers can make our precious food dollars reverberate through the local economy. Crow Wing Food Co-op will be a community-centered, vibrant small business in the heart of Downtown Brainerd.