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Posted: February 17, 2021 Just Local Food is Winner of Downtown Enhancement Grant

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI) has awarded Just Local Food Cooperative a $2,000 Downtown Enhancement Grant to assist in their planned addition of an outdoor walk-in freezer for their store at 1117 S. Farwell Street.

With limited space, and a growing clientele, Just Local Food has been facing the challenge of finding enough space for their back-stock storage. The addition of the freezer will help the cooperative sell more meat, seafood, and frozen grocery items and allow expansion to new vendors.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to the food industry as a whole, but local food has remained reliable and resilient throughout, our farmers and producers made many emergency deliveries in the first months as we ran out of products,” said Becca Schoenborn, from Just Local’s Marketing Team. “Adding a walk-in freezer for our back-stock frozen foods will allow us to order more from our current vendors and add even more local vendors to our mix. Having funds to put toward this project means that we can continue working toward expanding our store and becoming the local food hub of Downtown Eau Claire, and we are grateful for that.”

Downtown Enhancement Grants have been distributed twice-annually to existing businesses that lie within the downtown boundaries. This grant to Just Local Foods brings DECI Enhancement Grant totals to $14,000 since the program began in 2018.

“These Downtown Enhancement Grants are one of the ways we serve our downtown,” said Aaron White, Executive Director of DECI. “We’re pooling resources to invest in building stronger businesses, which in-turn, leads to a more vital and vibrant downtown community.”

A change to the program this year focused January grant considerations on businesses that were looking to expand or enhance their operations to add or improve the services they offer. The next round of enhancement grants will be distributed in June. Those grants will be geared toward project proposals that enhance the overall downtown community or downtown experience through projects like public art, wayfinding, culturally enriching events, or more.  

Downtown Enhancement Grants are made possible by donors who have generously funded the grant program through 2027. These donors include:

B~Framed Galleries


Kristen and Donn Dexter


Jill and Tom Barland


Royal Credit Union

Charter Bank


Ruder Ware




Lissa and Tom Siedow


JB Systems


U.S. Bank

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