Riverwest Co-op suspends café operations for 'foreseeable future,' future of grocery store uncertain

Riverwest Co-op Facebook page

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Riverwest Co-op Grocery and Café announced Monday that the café portion of the business is closed for the foreseeable future starting immediately. 

“We’re sad to announce that the café at the Riverwest Co-op is closing today after 18 years of serving our neighbors and the greater Milwaukee area,” said Grocery Coordinator Nick Baran. “We want to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who supported the cafe over the years, especially in the last few months. Unfortunately, after looking hard at the numbers, the board of directors determined it was impossible to continue regular café service.”

The grocery store will remain open for now, but the business says its future is uncertain. They say sales have lagged since the start of the pandemic and have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

If sales do not improve, the Riverwest Co-op could be forced to close in the coming months.

“We are putting all of our focus and energy into operating the grocery store in order to secure the future of the Co-op,” said Baran. “We are currently seeking funding to bridge the gap between where we are today and where we need to be to keep the store open.”

The Riverwest Co-op is a natural food store featuring organic, local, vegan, vegetarian and fair trade products.

Membership is not required to shop at the Co-op, but anyone is welcome to become a member and receive a 5% discount. Weekly specials available to all, regardless of membership, include 10% off all produce on Mondays, 10% off El Rey products on Tuesdays, 10% off all wellness/body care items on Wednesdays, 10% bulk items on Thursdays, and 10% off a different local vendor every Friday.

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