2011 is already looking like an exciting year of growth for Willy Street Co-op!
Willy West opened for business on November 15th, and sales figures on opening day were on par with our eastside store. Even more important, Willy West’s opening creates access to natural and local foods for lots more people in the Madison area, without them having to burn gas to drive to the eastside. The Co-op gained over 1,000 new Owners in the first two weeks after Willy West opened, and hired over 90 new staff for both stores.
As the governing body for a larger, multi-site co-op, the Board’s focus in the new year is strategic planning. We’ll be looking to the future, considering how we can create even more access to high quality food in our community, and how we can continue to serve our Owners at the personal level they’re accustomed to, as we grow. We informally polled the Ownership at the 2010 Annual Meeting, asking folks to imagine their co-op in 2025. We’ve also formed a Strategic Planning Committee, and we’re still collecting data from our Owners and the community-at-large on the website—www.willystreet.coop/greater_food_access. We’ll be using all this information in our planning process in the coming year.
The 10% non-Owner surcharge was discussed throughout 2010. From the date of Willy West’s opening to January 2nd, 2011, the 10% markup was suspended. By the time you read this, the non-Owner surcharge will be back, but at a rate of just 5%. This is the compromise worked out over many months of Board, committee and community discussion.
Remember too that Board meetings are open to any Owners who wish to attend. In 2011, the Board will alternate meeting at the East and West stores—so attending a meeting might present a great opportunity to see Willy West! Before every meeting, we hold an Owner forum, which is catered by the Co-op Deli. It’s a chance for you to speak to the Board on any governance issues that are of concern to you. So stop by, have a snack, and talk to your Board. There is also an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) that goes to all Board members, so you can reach us that way as well.