Small & Strong

Support and training for small food co-ops in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota

The Fifth Annual Small & Strong Conference will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. Small & Strong is a one-day networking and training event for staff and board of small and startup food co-ops (under $3M in annual sales).

Conference Registration Fee: $20.00

This year will feature one familiar and one all-new track:

Support for Co-ops: Our store track will once again feature a great line-up of workshops for both store operators and boards of directors, including sessions on freshening up your fresh foods offerings, financial training for new GMs and boards of directors, and strategies for assessing and deepening your co-op’s relevance and community impact.

Rural Grocery Conversions: New this year, we will host a day of learning and conversation about strategies for saving the small town grocery store through conversion to cooperative ownership. Throughout rural America, small towns have been losing their independently owned grocery stores at an alarming rate, resulting in reduced access to fresh food and staples, as well the loss of a key part of any local economy. A growing number of towns have avoided this fate through the conversion of their independently owned, conventional grocery store to a cooperative, owned by community members. This conference track will bring together economic developers, cooperative and finance specialists, and people involved in current and successful conversion projects to learn about steps in the conversion process and how to build capacity to support communities on the journey. Highly recommended for anyone working on economic or community development issues in rural America.

Contact conference coordinator, Tom Guettler, for additional information, or to add or remove your name from the email list. 


The Small & Strong Initiative is Presented By




Registration scholarships provided by