Local Roots & FoodSphere Campaign for a New Building
to Call Home
Local Roots and FoodSphere share a vision of supporting local farmers, producers and artisans, and bringing people together in healthy, sustainable ways, which in turn, benefits our community. Imagine a vibrant local food sphere that promotes jobs, thriving businesses, agriculture and a healthy planet. This is all possible through a collaborative capital campaign.
prospective new Local Roots exterior
What does this mean?
In 14 years of business as a local foods cooperative, Local Roots has grown right alongside our founders, farmers, producers, chefs, staff, members, customers and community. Today, Local Roots is bursting at the seams and a physical expansion is vital.
Thus, we are thrilled to commence our Local Roots & FoodSphere Campaign for a New Building to Call Home! Wooster Local Foods Cooperative, d.b.a. Local Roots Market & Cafe, is partnering with FoodSphere, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to make this expansion a reality.
Based on community feedback, the expansion will include:
a larger market space for the cafe, grocery and artisan items to increase inventory and sales
a shared use commercial kitchen for existing and start-up food producers
office space for both Local Roots and FoodSphere who will provide onsite business support
an open air space for community programming
solar power and energy efficient equipment upgrades
The capital campaign committee has been working hard behind the scenes and is pleased to share that we have already received funds from invested community leaders, local supporters and grants. We are also proud to announce we have campaign pledges from the entire staff and both boards! But, we cannot finish this important investment in our future without partners like you. We need your support in this new season of growth.
The Wayne County Community Foundation is administering the campaign fund to provide our donors with a seamless donation process and payment flexibility. You can make a tax deductible donation by CLICKING HERE or mail a check to WCCF (517 N. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691) with “Local Roots & FoodSphere Campaign” in the memo.
We look forward to working with you on this important community development project!
Capital Campaign Update
As it nears the six month mark, our Campaign for a New Home for Local Roots is going strong, and we wanted to take a moment to send an update – and to ask for your ongoing support.
Let's Recap Our Campaign!
We launched the Campaign in May 2023 because Local Roots’ success as a market and its beloved place in the community had created a unique dilemma: the market has maxed out its physical footprint and needs to expand in order to realize its full potential, but its dedication to putting as much money as possible back in farmers’ and food producers’ pockets does not allow it to build up the capital reserves to make such a major investment.
Enter FoodSphere – a nonprofit devoted to invigorating the local foods ecosystem, and ideally situated to partner with Local Roots on a capital campaign. FoodSphere will purchase the building currently housing the Ride On bicycle shop (who will remain in the building under a smaller footprint), and then work with Local Roots and Bogner Construction to transform the space into an expanded commercial kitchen, marketplace, and new food business incubator. Local Roots Market will sign a long-term lease to be the building’s primary occupant.
This major undertaking requires a significant capital investment – to purchase the building, renovate the existing structure, add new space for the expanded commercial kitchen, and then move the entire market across the street. The Campaign is looking to raise the needed funds from a combination of local philanthropy, grant applications, and some debt financing from a local bank.
How is the Campaign Going?
Thanks to the generosity of several local foundations and over 150 individuals and families from throughout the community, we have raised over $200,000 in philanthropic donations so far. This includes donations and pledges from every staff and board member from both organizations.
We have also secured $348,460 in grant money, ranging from grants for energy efficient infrastructure to operation of the commercial kitchen, and currently have grant applications pending for an additional $1.5 million. And we are in the final stages of signing for a loan from Farmers National Bank to help “bridge” the time between construction starting and grant awards and philanthropic pledges coming in.
This is all incredibly exciting… but it is not enough. To reach our goals for a transformational move and an expansion that maximizes the full potential of the market, we need your support to reach our fundraising target.
You can contribute in one of two ways:
by sending a check, with “Local Roots & FoodSphere Campaign” in the memo line and made out to WCCF, 517 N. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691
by clicking directly on this link to make a credit card contribution (note that a 3% credit card fee will apply).
We want to thank you again for your support of Local Roots – as a marketplace, as a meeting place, and as a supporting space for our community of local food producers. We couldn’t do this without you.