January 2005

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Customer Comments

GM Report

Board Report

Health & Wellness News: A Basic Hemp Primer and Progress Report

Juice Bar & Bakery News: Maintaining Your Health through Juicing

Deli News: A Fiberiffic Feast

Produce News: Root Vegetables

Book News:
Fiber Titles

Specials Information

Recipes & Drink Recommendations

Ask the Midwife: Urinary Tract Infections

A Rough Guide to Dietary Fiber

Producer Profile: Maggie's Functional Organics

An Open Letter from the Northside Community

The 16th Annual Upper Midwest Organic Farming

Community Calendar

An Open Letter from Northside
Community Co-op

Dear fellow Willy Street Co-op member:

I first joined the Williamson Street Grocery Co-op in 1985, when I moved back to Madison. I joined because I believe in the cooperative principles, and in community ownership, and because I was moving from an area where farmer co-ops are a vital part of the economic and social community. I joined to support local agriculture. I joined to have an organic option, and to encourage competition in this growing segment of our economy. I joined because I liked the “feel” of the Co-op, and felt comfortable and well-served when I shopped there. I joined so I could cash a check. I joined so I could be a member-owner.

I’m betting that you joined for some of these same reasons, too.

At the same time, I shopped at Kohl’s when the Co-op was closed, when I needed something in a hurry, when I needed something that the Co-op didn’t carry. I shopped at Kohl’s because it was my neighborhood grocery store. I shopped at Kohl’s because it carried a larger variety. I shopped at Kohl’s because it was a union shop and gave its employees a contract and a living wage. Then Kohl’s sold out to Roundy’s, which owns Copps, and we lost this option.

We have a chance to have the best of both worlds. We’d like to bring as many of these advantages as possible back to the Northside, by putting a community-owned grocery store in the heart of the Northside. It won’t be the Willy Street Co-op, and it won’t be Kohl’s, but it will be ours. It will carry what we want to buy. It will be open when we want to shop. It will not sell out to anyone, because it will be owned by us.

A cooperative corporation has been legally formed, with a temporary board, all of whom are Willy Street Co-op members. Our goal is to open a store January 2006, and to contract with Willy Street to manage the store, under our policies. We’d like you to join this new co-op, in addition to your Willy Street membership. Not to replace Willy Street, but to improve our community, increase our own options, and serve our neighbors.

Please give this some thought, and join us if you can.

Sincerely yours,
Arthur Thexton
NCC Secretary
former WSGC Board President

PS: there is a listserv for the Northside Community Co-op; to join (even if just to lurk), send a blank e-mail to