Medford Co-Op Builds Grocery Portfolio

Wisconsin-based cooperative expands footprint with acquisition of third-generation family-owned grocer
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
Medford Co-Op Builds Grocery Portfolio
Medford Co-op has acquired Camp's Sentry grocery store in St. Germain, Wis.

Medford Cooperative, one of the oldest co-ops in Wisconsin, has purchased Camp's Sentry grocery store in St. Germain to build upon its size, scale and efficiency with its existing food retail locations in Medford and Adams-Friendship. 

Medford Co-op is a member-owned producer cooperative that was founded in 1911. The cooperative is diversified with departments in agriculture (feed/grain and agronomy); energy (refined fuels and propane); and retail (grocery, hardware and Cenex convenience stores).

The St. Germain grocery acquisition seems like a natural fit for the co-op, as it already operates other lines of business in the area, consisting of its propane, refined fuels, feed and grain segments. Medford Co-op expects the Camp's Sentry food retail acquisition to help service its existing customers at a higher level while welcoming new shoppers. 

"We would like to welcome the employees and community to the Medford Cooperative family,” said Chris Piotrowski, CEO and general manager of Medford Co-op. “To preserve the Camp family history in St. Germain, we will be rebranding the store to Camps Fresh Market."

Founded by Al and Ruth Camp in 1946, the Camps store has continued to be family- owned and -operated for three generations. The transition of Camp store’s current ownership from Bruce, Mary and David Weber to Medford Co-op is expected to occur in May, pending final logistical details.

“Our family has run the store for three generations, and it is such a part of our history,” said Bruce Weber, owner of Camps Sentry. “This was a tough decision, but one we felt was right at this time. Although our family will no longer own the store, David Weber will join Medford Cooperative as director of retail operations. We will continue to operate the new convenience store we recently opened.”

Its expected all Camps Sentry employees in St. Germain will remain and that the store will continue normal operations. Medford Co-op plans to bring an enhanced product selection to the 28,000-square-foot store over the next several months.

Meanwhile, on April 25, Medford Co-op officially welcomed another grocery store to its portfolio. It hosted the grand opening of Adams-Friendship County Market, which was acquired by the co-op in January.

“We are a cooperative, which means we are owned by our customers,” said Piotrowski. “We invite everyone to become a member of Medford Cooperative to experience the great benefits such as cash back each year and valuable discounts. We believe strongly in supporting local nonprofit organizations in the communities we serve. In 2020, Medford Cooperative returned $2 million to our customers and donated $250,000 to the community."

National Co+op Grocers recently released its “2021 Food Co-op Impact Report,” which proves the many ways that food co-ops are effecting change in the food system to prioritize people’s well-being all along the value chain.

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