Dubuque Food Co-op opening is long-awaited success - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Food Co-op opening is long-awaited success

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The Dubuque Food Co-op had a soft opening Monday, for members only. The Dubuque Food Co-op had a soft opening Monday, for members only.
DUBUQUE (KWWL) - One local store five years in the making is finally a reality.

The new Dubuque Food Co-op in the Millwork District held a soft opening Monday for members only.

Hundreds of curious and excited people streamed through the co-op's doors throughout the day, exploring the newly-renovated space in the Schmid Innovation Center, on the corner of Ninth and Washington streets.

Andy Mozena is president of the Dubuque Food Co-op's board and called the soft opening a success.

"We spent roughly two, two-and-a-half years raising the $1.4 million dollars that we needed to get our store up and running, and so we've had tremendous support along the way," Mozena said Monday morning, standing in the bustling co-op. "I'm not surprised in the least that there's this many people here today."

A plan for a natural, organic and local food co-op in Dubuque has been in the works for five years now. Monday's success, however, came after several delayed opening dates.

"We weren't going to move forward and sign the lease or buy any equipment until we had every dollar we needed in hand to make our plan come to fruition," Mozena said. "Call them delays, we just call it the journey. It took what it was, we probably should have stayed away from setting dates, but we're kind of beyond that. We're just excited that the doors are open today."

The Dubuque Food Co-op has 1,500 members and is always accepting more.

"There's a $100 lifetime membership. It's not once a year, it's for a lifetime," Mozena explained. "If you'd move away or decide that the co-op is not for you, it's totally refundable, so it's more of a $100 placeholder, investment."

He said the membership allows people to vote and run for board positions, "as well as, at the end of the year, once we're profitable, any money that's left over after expenses will be sent back to our member-owners based on their patronage of the store."

The co-op will be open to the general public by the end of May. Check out its website HERE: http://dubuquefood.coop/
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