I can hardly believe I’m writing a report for November! This year is flying by, with plenty of exciting projects and initiatives underway to help make our Co-op and community thrive.

Finally, the cat is outta the bag: the Williamson Marquette Neighborhood is officially “Great!” 

I am delighted to share some great news about Willy East’s ’hood. In October, the American Planning Association (APA) designated Williamson Marquette Neighborhood as a “Great Neighborhood” as part of their Great Places in America program. Cheers to all of the wonderful people, organizations, and businesses who make this area such a great place to live!

FY13 Patronage Refund Distribution
FY13 was a very successful year for Willy Street Co-op. Recognizing that, at the October 1st, 2013 meeting the Board of Directors approved a 20% Patronage Refund distribution! This will be showing up as a credit at the register mid-January 2014. The Board also approved, as we did last year, that we once again distribute patronage to Owners who would receive at least $2. The costs associated with distributing a store credit smaller than $2 would outweigh the benefits. For more information on patronage, check out this page on our website: www.willystreet.coop/owner-benefit/patronage-refund.

Willy East Remodel Plans are Posted!
After months of careful deliberations, the plans for Willy East’s remodel are complete! Check them out on the website at: www.willystreet.coop/east_remodel_plans. I feel confident that this project will improve shoppers’ experiences, make this site a better work environment and stay within the $4 million budget approved by Owners. A rough timeline for construction (including phasing) is also posted with the plans. It is our intention to be open throughout the construction process, understanding that certain departments may be shut down or relocated for limited periods of time. Please watch our website for updates, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for the most up-to-minute news.

third Site Criteria Task Force
The Third Site Criteria task force regrouped and began meeting again at the end of October. This group is working hard to determine how a third retail location will best serve the needs of Owners. A formal recommendation will be made to the Board in early 2014.

Happy birthday, Dolores Kamm!
We’d like to wish Dolores Kamm a wonderful 90th birthday. Dolores has been baking and delivering bread to the Willy Street Co-op since early Co-op workers discovered Kamm Farm’s Bakery at the Dane County Farmers’ Market  in 1976. Her bread is a favorite among staff and Owners alike. Have a wonderful birthday, Dolores! Thank you for all you do!

Giving Thanks…
This is a time of year when we are all encouraged to stop and feel grateful for the bounty in our lives. I am particularly thankful for the Co-op’s excellent staff,  who bring their passion and their commitment to natural foods to work every day. I’m sending thanks to the drivers who are respectful of bikers and pedestrians in both our busy parking lots. I’m also so grateful to YOU, and the community of Owners who make this organization possible. Thank you thank you!

For enjoying at your tables this month, a few words from Edward Abbey…. “As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for many things, too many to list here in some endless post that rambles through many screens of lists and sublists, but near the top of my list, as always, is my great feeling of appreciation for those who walk gentle upon the earth and who struggle against overwhelming odds to keep the planet whole.”

Community SharesDharma for kidsDaniel J. KrauseNorthside Animal Hospital