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Willy Street Co-op Policies

Return policy

Customers may return items* for any reason within 90 days of purchase with a Willy Street Co-op receipt.

*Per Wisconsin statues, we cannot accept returns of wine or beer.

Recall Policy

It is our policy to contact owners that have purchased recalled product within the past 30 days, (except in situations where the recall period is less than 30 days). Even if we did not contact you, you can still come in to the store and receive full credit at the customer service desk.

Boycott Policy (drafted 5/22/03)


To inform our customers of boycott actions pertaining to products offered by the Willy Street Grocery Co-op (WSGC).


WSGC is a consumer co-op; our products are selected based on our understanding of our customers' interest. Should a product or products we offer be the focus of a recognized boycott action, we will post signage informing customers of that action. A thirty-day comment period will begin at the time of the posting. At the end of the comment period, WSGC will use the input to decide what action to take.


WSGC will recognize boycotts called by reputable and informed organizations. At this time, those organizations include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Family Farm Defenders, United Foods and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Wisconsin Green Party.

Boycott Outcome

WSGC will post comments contributed to the boycott and a statement of what actions have been taken at the end of the thirty-day period.

Donation Policy

Donations Budget Policy and Principles

The primary purpose of Willy Street Co-op's donations is to make store merchandise available, at Owner prices, to not-for-profit groups making requests for assistance. A secondary purpose of the program is to make Co-op funds available to not-for-profit groups for special projects and fundraising efforts. We recognize the support role the Co-op can play to encourage and foster neighborhood development.

The donations budget is administered by the Director of Cooperative Services and is renewed annually on our July-June Fiscal Year. In Fiscal Year 2015, the donations budget is $16,000. When cooperative businesses request funding, disbursements may be made from the co-op development budget ($5000 in FY2015). Funds for donations are capped quarterly to ensure funding is available throughout the year.


Groups making requests must be nondiscriminatory. Any form of discrimination based on age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, disability, or any other category protected by state or federal law is contrary to the principles and policies of Willy Street Co-op.

Priority is given to the following groups: 501( c ) 3 charitable organizations, 170( c )(1) government entities (such as pubic schools), and cooperative businesses.

Donations are generally considered on a first come, first serve basis. When multiple groups request contributions during the same period, priority is given to those who demonstrate a greater need.

Groups involved with multiple events and projects are strongly encouraged to request a lump-sum for all of the events and projects to occur from July to June. Priority is given to organizations who have not already received funding from the Co-op within a given fiscal year.

The Co-op supports fundraising, development, and educational projects or events that are consistent with the Co-op's bylaws, ends policies, and goals. Priority is given to projects and events that benefit the public, though private events that also benefit the community may also be supported.

Disqualified Requests
Organizations who engage with animals as part of achieving their mission must adopt a policy of humane animal treatment. The Co-op refrains from funding organizations that use animals for the purposes of product testing or other research.

The Co-op refrains from fundraising for or contributing to third-party charitable efforts and/or individuals.

Requests must be made at least three weeks prior to funding.

Requests shall be accepted via the Co-op's online donation form only, with any supplementary materials uploaded as PDF, DOC, DOCX (maximum file size 1.5MB).

Please visit Donation request page to make a request.

Global Ends Policy

The Williamson Street Grocery Co-op is, and will remain, an economically viable and environmentally sound business cooperatively owned by its owners; its primary mission, as expressed in article 1.1 of our bylaws, is to operate a retail grocery store that forms a cornerstone of a vibrant community.

To evaluate progress towards these ends, the Board shall monitor whether;

Policy A1:

Owners make informed choices about food, agricultural practices, environmentally sound practices and the cooperative movement.

Policy A2:

Owners have a sense of Williamson Street Grocery Co-op (WSGC) community and realize the responsibility of ownership.
A2.1 Owners participate in decision-making.
A2.2 Promote owner involvement.
A2.3 Celebrate, educate, and promote community.

Policy A3:

WSGC is a cornerstone of a vibrant economically and environmentally sound community.
A3.1 Local farmers, manufacturers and distributors work in partnership with WSGC.
A3.1.1 Foster local production of goods, including food.
A3.2 Other businesses and co-ops link with WSGC to improve services.
A3.3 Persons of all ages and economic groups view the Co-op as an important resource for their well-being.

Policy A4:

Workers participate in management, work in a humane environment and are recognized and rewarded as being fundamental to a thriving community.
A4.1 Become an employer of choice in Madison, WI

Policy A5:

The Co-op pursues growth and expansion opportunities that meet the long-term needs of its owners and workers.
A5.1 Grow and link neighborhood grocery co-ops.

Policy A6:

Board and management commit to ongoing system improvement.
A6.1 Make healthy, timely decisions.
A6.2 Best operational practices are identified and implemented.
A6.3 There exists a systems approach to sustainability.

These policies statements shall be reviewed at each board meeting, and the GM shall provide a monitoring report in February.

Adopted by action of the Williamson Street Grocery Co-op Board of Directors on October 12, 2002.
Amended by action of the Williamson Street Grocery Co-op Board of Directors on February 8, 2003.
Amended by action of the Williamson Street Grocery Co-op Board of Directors on April 4, 2005.

Tabling Policy

Willy Street Grocery Cooperative supports providing opportunities for nonpartisan and secular 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to network with our community in a designated area outside on Co-op property. Organizations must be nondiscriminatory. Any form of discrimination based on age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, disability, or any other category protected by state or federal law is contrary to the principles and policies of Willy Street Co-op.

Eligible organizations are required to adhere to the following rules in order to table on Co-op property:

  • Reservations must be made at least one week in advance with the Owner Resources Coordinator at the store where the organization plans to hold their tabling event. Tabling events must be held during store hours, and may be denied or restricted due to scheduling priorities or other reasons. Reservations are not complete until the Owner Resources Coordinator has provided confirmation to the organization.

Owner Resource Coordinator contacts:

    • Willy East: , (608) 251-6776 x322

    • Willy West: , (608) 284-7800 x509

  • Organizations are encouraged to use displays to attract attention. Individuals representing the approved organization may NOT directly approach people anywhere on Co-op property or in the parking lot. Interaction must be initiated by the passerby. Aggressive canvassing or “hard-sell” tactics may result in suspension of tabling privileges.
  • Reserving space to table at the Co-op ensures that space and time will be available for organizations to present information. Organizations are required to provide all their own supplies. Organizations are allowed to provide the following things while tabling:

    • A table and chair(s).

    • A display with materials about the organization’s goals or relevant materials.

    • Petitions, provided they are nonpartisan and the organization adheres to compliance with Rule #2.

    • Product. Eligible organizations must receive pre-approval from the Director of Cooperative Services to sell product. Permission will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Please discuss needs with the Owner Resources Coordinator when making reservation.

  • Clothing cannot depict slogans or images that are partisan or denoting profanity, hate speech, or sexually explicit content.

Those who are NOT eligible or approved to table on Co-op property may canvas on the public sidewalk in front of the store.

The views expressed by organizations approved to table on Co-op property are solely those of the organizations themselves, and do not represent the views of Willy Street Co-op.

Tabling event privileges may be denied or revoked by Co-op Services Department Staff or a Manager on Duty for any reason, at any time.  

Musicians Policy

Willy Street Grocery Cooperative supports providing opportunities for free performances by musicians on Co-op property.

Musician's Requirements

The following is required to perform music on Co-op property:

  1. To address our Owners' concerns, only acoustic musicians who have pre-arranged with the Manager on Duty may perform on Co-op property. (No electric instruments)
  2. To address concerns expressed by our neighbors, acoustic music that can be heard beyond our parking lot will not be allowed.
  3. Musicians are asked not to exceed two (2) hours a day of playing on Co-op property in order to provide opportunities for other musicians.
  4. Musicians are not allowed to perform on Co-op property before 12:00pm or after 7:00pm.
  5. We require that the musician(s) and all of the musician's property be clear of any walkways into or out of the store's entrance.
  6. Busking, or leaving a repository for donations, is only allowed if the musician(s) refrains from asking directly for money and is also in compliance the other requirements.
  7. Musicians are not allowed to park in the Co-op parking lots.
  8. Willy Street Grocery Cooperative reserves the right to request any musician(s) to cease playing in front of the Co-op at any time for any reason or if any or all of these requirements have not been met.