Decorah business Waving Grains Bakery is about to become a cooperative.
Jo Berg Iverson has operated Waving Grains Bakery as a privately-owned business for the last 25 years. Iverson started the bakery above her garage and now has four employees working along with her in their current location at 421 W. Water Street in Decorah.
For the past five years Iverson has been looking for ways to keep the bakery going without running it herself, so she could have more time to visit her first grandchild in Pennsylvania. When Iverson mentioned it might end up closing, people realized she was serious about retiring, and they came up with the idea of a co-op.
Decorah resident Steve McCargar, who was a co-manager at Oneota Food Co-op for 25 years and is currently the farmers market manager in Decorah, has been instrumental in spearheading the effort to create the new co-op.
The Oneota Community Food Co-op has been very successful for over 40 years, so Waving Grains Bakery decided to base its co-op on that model.
Members can purchase a lifetime membership for $250. The membership would allow them to run for the board of directors if they choose and voice member comments at the beginning of meetings.
The business will become Waving Grains Cooperative Bakery on October 1st at its current location at 421 W. Water Street in Decorah. The bakery will continue to create whole grain and organic baked goods, but now the business will be owned by members of the community. They hope to expand their current area and add display cases and a seating area.
An open house for prospective member/owners will be held at the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce office at 507 W. Water Street September 28th from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.