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Shilling tours Viroqua Food Co-op
A planned expansion will boost local employment
jennifer shilling jan rasikas
State Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) talks with Viroqua Food Co-op General Manager Jan Rasikas during a visit to the member-owned cooperative Nov. 12. VFC plans to expand its operations in order to offer more local, organic and natural foods to area shoppers. - photo by Contributed/Tony Palese

The Driftless Region in western Wisconsin is ground zero for the rapidly expanding local food movement.

Growing demand for fresh organic food and high quality local products has helped fuel the growth of many local businesses,  including the Viroqua Food Co-op (VFC) – a local favorite in Vernon County. After 20 years of success, the member-owned Viroqua Food Co-op is once again looking to grow and expand their local operation.

“Viroqua Food Co-op is a champion of our local food economy since 1995,” said Jan Rasikas, VFC General Manager. “With the support of our 3,300 member-owners, we eagerly anticipate growing our Cooperative so we can better serve our community by offering more local, organic, and natural food options.”

State Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) met with Viroqua Food Co-op employees and supporters Nov. 12 to learn more about how the Co-op supports local farmers, their support for labeling of genetically modified foods and upcoming expansion plans.

“With friendly service and quality products, I always enjoy visiting the Viroqua Food Co-op,” said Shilling. “As a supporter of buy local and farm to table initiatives, it is exciting to see the Co-op grow, expand and boost the local economy.”

The Viroqua Food Co-op currently employs 64 people, of which 80% are full time and have access to a full benefits package. In the last fiscal year, VFC achieved $7 million in sales.

To learn more about the Co-op, individuals can stop in or visit online at