Prairie Roots Co-op Will Close
FARGO, N.D. – The Prairie Roots Food Cooperative in downtown Fargo is closing at the end of the week, a result of high expenses and competition from big box stores.
The first full retail natural organic fair trade grocery store in Fargo opened in June of 2017 with lots of fanfare.
However, Board member Tim Mathern says from the beginning, overhead expenses were more than the store income.
He says the board worked hard to correct that situation.
Last year, the staff was reduced, there was a “dramatic curtailment” of ordering product and only ordering if there was cash.
The co-op also raised about $80,000 of a $250,000 goal to reduce product liability.
They also worked with an investor on a joint venture to create new ways to come up with income.
But he says those efforts didn’t pan out to the level needed and he says the “writing was on the wall.”
Sunday, the board of directors held several emergency meetings and made the tough decision to close the store.
Mathern says the board is now working with lenders and some 2300 cooperative member-owners on ways to handle what he calls “significant debt” although the amount has not been disclosed.
He says bankruptcy is among the options that will be looked at.