Osseo is conveniently located off Interstate 94 (I-94) — an east-west interstate connecting the Great Lakes and northern Great Plains regions. A short, 20-minute drive on I-94 from Osseo takes you to Eau Claire — a vibrant city of 68,339, making it Wisconsin’s ninth-largest city. Many small towns surround Osseo, providing a small-town feel with a short commute to a mid-size city with a plethora of restaurants, businesses and events.
Osseo is a two-hour drive to the metropolitan cities of Madison and La Crosse in Wisconsin, and Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota. With many lakes and rivers flowing through Western Wisconsin, there are also many cabin-friendly areas, resorts and campgrounds only a short road trip away.
2. Low Cost of Living
The 2017 Cost of Living Index, published by the Council for Community and Economic Research, pegged the cost of living in the Eau Claire metro area at 95.1. The national average is indexed at 100, meaning what costs $1 elsewhere in the country can be bought in Eau Claire for just 95 cents. Eau Claire’s relative inexpensiveness is due in large part to the low cost of housing, indexed at 79.2, and groceries at 95.8. Large metro areas such as Minneapolis and St. Paul index at 104.9 and 104.5 respectively. Although smaller cities, such as Osseo, were not surveyed, the cost of living in Osseo is lower than Eau Claire.
3. Outdoor Activities
Many GFS employees enjoy spending their free time outdoors, with year-round activities such as biking, boating, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling. The four-season climate allows for hunting animals in different seasons, as well as fishing during the summer and ice fishing during the winter.
Although Minnesota is known as the “land of 10,000 lakes,” Wisconsin has it beat with more than 15,000 lakes, featuring many different kinds of fish, including bass, muskie, perch and walleye. Rivers are abundant and perfect for floating, tubing, kayaking and canoeing. Trails surround the area for bikers, runners, four-wheelers and snowmobilers.
If outdoor hobbies are not your thing, there are plenty of activities that community members enjoy, including free, outdoor music events, yoga in area parks and local farmers markets.
4. Music Festivals
On a larger scale, country music’s biggest stars take center stage each summer at Country Jam in Eau Claire and Country Fest in Cadott — headliners in recent years included Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood. At the same venue in Cadott, Rock Fest moves in a few weeks later with a complete lineup of big-name rock bands and performers.
There is also the Blue Ox Music Festival in Eau Claire, which boasts the best in bluegrass, and the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, an indie music fest backed by Bon Iver’s frontman Justin Vernon, an Eau Claire native. For a regional fair, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair in Chippewa Falls packs quite a lineup for just around $10 a ticket. The fair has featured on-the-rise country stars, such as Frankie Ballard and Brett Eldredge, as well as classic artists, including Cheap Trick, Martina McBride and The Beach Boys in recent years.
5. Local Fairs
If you’re looking for family fun around Osseo, there is a festival for that. The pride and joy of Osseo, Lake Martha Days epitomizes small-town Wisconsin, showcasing its Scandinavian history and Norwegian flair. There is a carnival, parade, antique car show, horse pull and bean bag tournament, to name a few activities. The beer garden is typically packed, and people come in droves for lefse busse — a tasty Norwegian meal of homemade buttered meatballs wrapped in a potato flatbread.
6. Famous Food and Drink
For such a small city, Osseo offers many lunch, dinner, dessert and after-work drink options for GFS employees. Visitors from across the U.S. flock to the Norwegian-themed Norske Nook — a must-visit in Osseo, known for its lefse and award-winning pies.
Also in Osseo, Northwoods Brewpub is a woodsy, cabin-like microbrewery, located in an old condensery building. Northwoods Brewpub features 28 tap beers, along with an array of burgers, sandwiches and pizzas. Many local pubs and fast food chain options are also available.
If you live in Wisconsin, there is a good chance you will succumb to a Wisconsin/Minnesota rivalry — whether at the college or professional level. Living in Western Wisconsin near the border of Minnesota, you will typically find a friendly mix of both types of fans. In Eau Claire, there are also many opportunities for football fans to catch a local game, whether it be minor league or collegiate.
Outside of football, Osseo is home to the Osseo Merchants, an amateur baseball team that plays on one of the top-rated fields in Wisconsin. Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley have a handful of minor league sports teams of their own. The Eau Claire Express and Cavaliers play baseball at Carson Park in Eau Claire, and the Chippewa Steel is a semi-pro hockey team in Chippewa Falls.
Osseo is also home to a public nine-hole golf course, consisting of wide-open fairways that cut through trees and the Buffalo River, which provide the most significant danger on the course. If you’re looking for a more challenging course, there are plenty to pick from in Eau Claire and surrounding areas.
In Osseo, the friendly neighbors that surround you help you feel at home. With a crime rate traditionally lower than that of larger cities, many Osseo community members serve and volunteer for the police and fire departments. It is easy to get involved in the community in other ways, whether at schools, churches or even by giving blood. GFS is proud to give back to the community, and last year, we were able to donate a defibrulator that has already helped to save a life.
9. School Districts
In partnership with the community, the mission of the Osseo-Fairchild School District is to motivate, educate and empower students for successful living. Osseo-Fairchild High School, as well as many other area schools such as Fall Creek and Eleva-Strum, provide safe, welcoming environments for students to thrive, with a plethora of academic and sports programs.
10. Top 10 Campground
Rounding out the top 10 reasons to work in Osseo is a campground, which is rated No. 1 of the top 10 in Wisconsin. Stoney Creek RV Resort has a slew of amenities, including laser tag, miniature golf and covered wagon rides. Camping remains an annual getaway for most families in Osseo — whether pitching a tent or piling into an RV.
Although a small dot on a map, Osseo, Wisconsin and the surrounding communities have a lot to offer residents in terms of recreational activities, events, dining, housing and a relatively low cost of living. If you are considering a career at GFS, we encourage you to explore all that our company and the communities have to offer.