Three cheers for May flowers after some pretty intense April showers (and snow storms)! There is a lot happening at your Co-op. I feel a little bit like a broken record saying it, but it’s still true!

Willy East Remodel Work
We are more than halfway through the remodel! It’s exciting to see the vision we developed for this project becoming reality. Mid-April the reworked Deli/Meat/Seafood counters were finished. I hope you like it as much as I do! You may have also noticed that the floor looks different—we have removed all of the very problem-prone OptiRock and polished the concrete that lay beneath. This month we will also be working on moving the Juice Bar, expanding the Cheese section and reorganizing the Commons area and Front End. On behalf of all of the Co-op’s staff, thank you for your patience as we continue with this renovation! Willy West staff are ready to meet any needs East is unable to accommodate until the remodel finishes up in August.

Centralized Office
We’re moving into our new digs at 1457 East Washington Avenue this month! The first admin staff to move are already in our new centralized office space and the rest of the admin staff is preparing to move in by the middle of the month.

Willy Street Co-op Local Vendor Loan Fund
After three years of preparation, vetting and a final selection process, the Willy Street Co-op Local Vendor Loan Fund has selected its first recipients! Creme de la Coulee Cheese, Keewaydin FarmS and Healthy Ridge Farm are the Fund’s first users, and we are excited to share how the funds provided by the Co-op are used to expand their operations. Keep an eye out for more information in future Reader articles, on our Facebook page and in stores!

Third STORE
The Board is continuing to review a third retail site option and how it fits into the longer-term strategic growth of the organization. I wish I could share more, but until we have a final decision it is imprudent to say anything more. We will share the proposed location we select as soon as we can!

CCMA Conference
Willy Street Co-op has some exciting plans afoot for Summer 2014. In June the Willy Street Co-op will be hosting the 58th Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference (CCMA). From June 12th-14th, Madison will be inundated with over 500 excited managers, staff and Board members from cooperatives across North America. This annual conference is a highly anticipated event in the cooperative grocer community, featuring dozens of workshops, interesting tours, inspiring keynotes, and one kickin’ party to round out the three-day event. We are thrilled to be such an important part of CCMA this year!

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.

Waterdu Tree CareNorthside Animal HospitalPaul O'FlannaganGrass Fed BeefLonesome Stone MillingDebra A. StroikHeartland Credit Union