Our structure is a co-op of co-ops. That is, the organization is a cooperative and members of the organization are cooperatives (and other organizations). The five founding members are the Riverwest Co-op, Riverwest Public House Cooperative, People’s Books Cooperative, Build Milwaukee Cooperative, and the Riverwest Investment Cooperative. To apply for membership or get involved, drop us a line at our Contact page.


The RCA is the brainchild of a handful of people in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee who had been working in the local cooperatives. Witnessing the success of the Riverwest Food Co-op and all the ways it benefited its members and the neighborhood, a plan was formed to start another co-op that would become a lucrative funding engine for more co-ops and for a broad umbrella organization to facilitate the propagation and promotion of those co-ops and cooperative values. After a year or so of hard work organizing, selling memberships and raising capital, the Riverwest Public House opened its doors as one of just a couple cooperative taverns in the country. Following another couple of years stabilizing the Public House, representatives from the other neighborhood co-ops put their heads together and launched the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance.

So what does RCA do?

  • We bring years of cooperative development experience to our member organizations.
  • Professional & Consulting services including but not limited to cross marketing and shared marketing expenses, hands on and catered development planning, shared design/materials services, “technical assistance” and business development/expansion, reference for Legal and Accounting services.
  • Educational services including but not limited to access to facilitators for Board, officer, collective management trainings, classes and workshops, lectures and speaking presentations, and regional co-op development/networking opportunities.