GroCo • Owner • Spotlight: Karen McCulloch


"Being married into a farming family, I look to support our local farmers and makers whenever possible."


This is Owner #171, Karen McCulloch, owner of KMA Jewelry and one of the owners of The Book Teller! We sat down to learn a little about her and find out her thoughts on becoming an Owner.

GroCo: Tell us a little about yourself?

Karen: Originally from Milwaukee, I came to Whitewater for school, and never left! My husband Jim grew up on a farm just outside of town, and we both agreed that Whitewater was an ideal place to put down roots and grow our family of three fantastic children, Marren, Elliott, and Benjamin. Having a background in the arts, I've been fortunate to make a living doing what I love. I'm a jeweler by trade and have been making jewelry for the better part of the last 15 years as owner and designer of KMA Jewelry. Most recently, I was one of four people who helped open The Book Teller, a used bookshop and gift store downtown. Supporting our local community and economy was a founding principal behind The Book Teller, and as such, our gifts are all handcrafted by local artisans and makers. We've made our space beautiful, accessible and welcoming to all who walk through our doors. Everyday I come to work surrounded by books, artwork and some of the loveliest people I know. Life is indeed grand!

GroCo: Why did you become an Owner of the Whitewater Grocery Co.?

Karen: I became a member for several reasons. I believe that we as a community can help solve our own problems. Locally-owned businesses put money back into the community, and a community-owned grocery store makes sense over burdening taxpayers by offering corporate giants millions in incentives. Being married into a farming family, I look to support our local farmers and makers whenever possible. I'm so encouraged by Whitewater's overwhelmingly positive response to our community-owned grocery store. Keeping the money here in Whitewater is better for all of us!

GroCo: What's your favorite recipe?

Karen: I don't necessarily have a favorite recipe, but because Indian food is loved by everyone in the family, I'm always game to fire up some dahl or a vindaloo! 

GroCo: What's the quirkiest/funniest thing that's ever happened to you in a grocery store?

Karen: Upon picking out some produce, I was asked by two young college men to help them choose produce for a dinner they were cooking for their girlfriends that evening. I wound up giving a fairly in-depth consultation in developing their menu and helping with some cooking techniques!  It was so much fun, helping random strangers! They were so sweet!

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