Food Shed Co-op opens its doors in Woodstock – Shaw Local

Scott and Kim Breaks were the first owners of the Food Shed Co-op in Woodstockwhich celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday.

Scott Brix shared with the hundreds of attendees who came out to celebrate the occasion some details from the cooperative’s first brochure, which began in 2014 as McHenry County Food cooperative. He noted that the first brochure laid out a timeline that culminates in the opening of the co-op store in May 2015.

Tina Hill selects produce at the grand opening of the Food Shed Co-op in Woodstock on May 15, 2024.

“It will take another nine years for the co-op to come to fruition, but we got the right month,” Brix joked.

Before the official opening, attendees listened to live music; Among the tunes is “Food Shed,” which contains lyrics including “Let’s talk about saving our environment.”

At 9 a.m., the festivities began and included speeches from Darren Flynn, Woodstock’s deputy mayor, and Peter Waldman, the store’s general manager.

“This is a historic landmark in McHenry County history,” Waldman said.

At 9:30 a.m., the Bricks officially cut the ribbon and people began lining up outside the store for a chance to check it out.

As part of the grand opening, co-op officials dedicated Breaks Park on the southeast side of the property in honor of the founding owners. The park also contains bricks from the founding members.

Scott and Kim Breaks cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Food Shed Co-op in Woodstock on May 15, 2024.

Diane McKenzie said her son encouraged her to sign up to become an owner. “He’s like, ‘Mom, we have to do this,'” McKenzie said.

She was among the shoppers on Wednesday, which she said was her day off. She said she has been spending her time at the store and hopes to get more involved with the co-op.

Scott Bricks said there are six more co-ops opening in the Chicago area in the near future, before recalling that people keep asking him when the co-op will open.

Don and Lauren Henning Crystal Lake They were the first customers inside the store.

“We’re excited to see what it looks like,” Don Henning said.

The Hennings said they have been owners of the co-op for a few years. As a co-op store, the store is owned by customer members who purchase at least two shares for $100 each. Ownership offers perks such as discounts and profit sharing, although non-owners can shop there as well.

“We believe in this whole idea so much,” Lauren Henning said.

Jo Ann Krause was the first person to officially make a purchase at the co-op.

“This is exhilarating,” Krause said, adding that she plans to become an owner of the co-op.

As of Friday afternoon, the co-op had just under 2,300 owners. When the doors opened on Wednesday, that number had grown to 2,350, and signs inside the store lobby record the number of co-op owners and the number of local items in the store. That total was 781 pieces when people arrived on Wednesday.

Customers at the Food Shed are encouraged to bring their own bags, but the store does have paper bags available for 10 cents each. According to the Woodstock suitcase law. The first 500 people in the store Wednesday received a free reusable Food Shed bag, employee Ryan Craig said.

Before opening the store, Waldman asked people to “please be nice” and “be patient with us as we continue to grow.”

Some employees at the store have been in the industry for 20 years and have health insurance for the first time, Waldman later said.

“The human stories are what we miss,” Waldman said.

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