While that darn ground-hog saw his shadow and we are still waiting for spring to arrive, I am heartened by the extra sunlight bookending our days. We need it too—there is a LOT going on in your Co-op and we can all use the extra energy!

Willy East Remodel
First and foremost in my mind is a big THANK YOU for your patience during these first few months of remodel, particularly during the two days we had to close at the end of February. Closing the store allowed us to remove the OptiRock surface from the retail floor. When this project is over we’ll have a beautiful new floor of polished concrete. I am very excited!

This month we’ll begin revamping the center of the store, which will mean highly visible construction work during your shopping experience. As was the case during Deli construction, we will be re-arranging product offerings throughout the store to minimize disruption to your shopping experience as much as possible. The staff at Willy West are also happy to help meet your needs!

Centralized Office
We have officially secured a centralized office space! Located at 1457 East Washington Ave., the Co-op will be sharing a building with Canopy Center, Family Sexual Abuse Treatment, Inc. and Safe Harbor. We are working as quickly as possible to outfit the building with the necessary technology and equipment for admin staff and hope to have everyone moved in by the end of May/beginning of June. This is an exciting change for staff, and will enable us to work more collaboratively and effectively. We bid a fond adieu to our offices at 1882 East Main Street, but will continue to have a presence in the building—our Production Kitchen will continue to operate out of that facility.

Patronage Refunds
Remember to use your patronage refund before the June 15th deadline! Owners are welcome to donate their patronage to CHIP or FCI at the register… or use it to pick up a little treat for yourself! By law, if your credit isn’t used by June 15th, 2014, the Co-op must record the amount of your store credit and retained patronage equity as income and pay the necessary taxes on that amount and your refund is officially forfeited.

Important Board Work In Progress
The Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors is doing some pretty important work this month. Stay tuned to future Board Reports in the Reader for information on a potential third retail site, strategic visioning work, and more.

skatepark
You may have heard that we are helping to bring a skatepark to Madison. It’s true! We have donated $50,000 over two years to the skatepark opening this summer at Central Park, just a few blocks from Willy East. One of its features will be The Eggplant Bowl. We can’t wait to see it, and are happy to have helped this 13-year project come to fruition.

Thank you
Board member Raechel Pundsack resigned from the Board of Directors for personal reasons at the end of January. Thank you Raechel for your five-and-a-half years of service on the Willy Street Co-op Board!

Farewell Kamm Bakery
The much-beloved Dolores Kamm has officially hung up her oven mitts. Dolores supplied the Co-op with delicious baked breads for over 30 years and now, at 90+ years old, has closed up shop. Cheers to the fabulous Ms. Kamm and her long and nourishing career! We’ll see you around the stores.
Dr. Ingo MahnHeartland Credit Union