Happy New Year everyone!
2014 has officially arrived. Before looking ahead at what this month will bring, I want to take a moment and reflect on a few of this organization’s many achievements over the past twelve months.
1221 Remodel Expenditure
Owners approved up to $4 million for a remodel of Willy East this year. After months of careful planning, construction is well and truly underway for this much needed upgrade to our facilities.
Some of you may be reading this on your computer, tablet or other electronic device since we offered you the chance to opt out of paper newsletter copies in 2013!
FEED Kitchens Partnership
Our cooperative community donated over $30,000 to the FEED Kitchens project last year, and we look forward to developing further partnerships moving forward.
We returned $258,400 to Willy West bondholders—thank you again for your faith in and support of our very successful expansion three years ago!
Zero Waste Annual Meeting & Party (AMP)
For the first time ever, in partnership with Paolo Verde Waste Planning, City of Madison, and the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center the Co-op staged a zero-waste AMP! The total waste produced during the dinner party was 1,198 lbs; of that amount 1,040 lbs (86%) was compostable, 101 lbs (8%) was recyclable, and only 57 lbs (6%) was landfill trash.
Open Book Management and Google Apps
This fall we implemented two significant operational changes here at Willy Street Co-op. We began practicing Open Book Management (read more about that here: openbookmanagement.com/) and migrated to Google Apps for Business. Both have facilitated greater collaboration between staff as well as operational efficiencies.
In October both retail locations began composting pre-consumer waste in the produce and deli departments.
What to Expect at the Start of 2014
2014 looks to be a year of big changes and exciting work here at the Willy Street Co-op. To kick it off, here are some top-level items happening this month.
Willy East Remodel
Interior remodel work is underway at this point, beginning the period of construction that will be most keenly felt by shoppers and staff. The Community Room will be unavailable until April, and as departments undergo remodeling there will be changes to the placement of product around the store. Please bear with us as we move through this phase of construction, and keep an eye on the website for more detailed updates. We will do our best to give you the best shopping experience possible, and look forward to unveiling updated sections as they are completed!
Temporary Office Space
As the remodel continues, staff with offices and desks at Willy East will be relocated across the street to 1222 Williamson Street (formerly Blues Hair Studio). This space gives us the proximity and flexibility our staff need during this project.
Reduced Center Store
The remodeled Willy East will also contain a smaller grocery and wellness section as the perimeter (meat, deli, etc.) grows in size. In preparation for that shift, we are cutting slow-selling product in both of these departments. We are reviewing the last 52 weeks of sales data to make these decisions. These slow-sellers represent opportunities to free up space. After we go through all of the aisles, we will swing back to review anything that is still in question, or that has been heavily requested since it sold out and was removed. The products that have been cut due to slow sales can be special ordered by the case.
The Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors has approved a patronage refund for Fiscal Year 2013 to Owners; a portion of which will be distributed to those eligible through a credit at the registers. Expect to see credits at the register starting January 27th. For more information read David Waisman’s article on 21 page of the Reader. He is also available for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third Site Task Force
The Third Site Criteria Committee is getting closer to making a recommendation for a third retail site to the Board. We are excited about many of the possibilities for our Co-op to grow, and will share more details with you as they become available.
The FY13 Annual Report is being sent to all Owners. Take a look at what you and your Co-op did over the past year. It’s an inspiring read!
No More Madison Hours
As of December 24th, Willy Street Co-op will no longer accept Madison Hours. As of January 1st, Madison Hours will no longer have a dollar equivalency. Instead it will be equivalent to One Hour of Time and exist under the Dane County Time Bank’s management. We are supportive of Dane County Time Bank and efforts to create a mutual credit system that could be used by businesses.