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Third Store Update; Budget Planning; Earth Week; & More

As we have reported for the last two months in the newsletter, we continue to investigate a third store location in the Sherman Neighborhood. Pierce’s Northside Market will end its lease and we are evaluating that location. It’s a complicated conversation discussing a third store, with the opening of Festival Foods just eight blocks from Willy East.

We have made no decision yet, but expect to the middle of this month. Please stay tuned! We will provide timely updates on our website, Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, please share any questions, concerns or support through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the Contact Us page on our website (, through written Customer Comments in the store, or send a letter!

If we do open “Willy North,” we would have room for many more products than we currently carry at Willy East or Willy West. To help us determine what these products should be, we’re asking anyone who might shop at Willy North to share your grocery receipt from other stores. Drop it off at the Customer Comment box in the Owner Resources Area at either store, email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or share via Facebook direct message.

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback so far—we truly appreciate it, and will take every comment into account when making a recommendation to your Board of Directors.

Finance Committee Seeking Member
The Board’s Finance Committee has a vacant seat that they would like to fill. The vacancy is reserved for an Owner-at-Large, which could be you if you have experience in monitoring the financials of an organization, are committed to Willy Street Co-op and its ideals, are available for a five-to-seven hour commitment each month, and interested on serving on this committe. Please contact Ben Becker, Executive Assistant, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Budget Planning: Surcharge Discussion
We are in the middle of preparing our Fiscal Year 2017 budget, and we’re discussing the possibility of retiring the requirement for non-owners to pay an additional 5% surcharge on listed prices. We believe that eliminating the 5% surcharge may make the Co-op a more inclusive and welcoming place to shop and create greater access to quality food for the community. The management team is currently discussing the benefits and impacts of surcharge removal. If you have comments regarding the surcharge that you wish to share, please drop us a Customer Comment at one of our stores or visit to register your opinion. More information will be available in the May Reader. Stay tuned!

Annual Meeting & Party (AMP)
Looking ahead… mark your calendars for the 2016 AMP, scheduled for Thursday, July 14th, at Madison’s Central Park! The retails will close early, at 7:30pm, to allow staff opportunity to partake in the festivities.

The AMP marks the opening night of La Fete de Marquette—four days of fantastic music, local cuisine, ice-cold beer, wine, and family fun!

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall

Earth Day was first observed 46 years ago on April 22nd, 1970; founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was a leading figure in the fight against environmental degradation and social injustice.

Earth Week Celebration
The week of April 18th-24th enjoy 10% off organic bulk products—stock up!

Why buy bulk? You can buy as little or as much as you need; bulk items come with less packaging than their packaged counterparts, less burden on our landfills. You can help make your food dollar go farther.

SUSTAINABLE FOCUS—renewable energy alternative for Willy East
Last October, I mentioned we were in a conversation with Kurt Reinhold of Legacy Solar Co-op regarding a PV solar array installation at Willy East. The conversation progressed since then, and we have entered into cooperative partnership with an end goal to replace (and upgrade) the PV system damaged by the tornado last summer. 

Last month we issued a request for proposal for qualified contractors for the project. We will review bids, select a company to work with, and proceed with the installation end of May or early June. 

Legacy Solar Co-op will look to sell Solar Bonds to members who are interested in supporting local solar projects like this one and helping to green our communities. If you are interested in becoming a member of Legacy Solar Co-op, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or become a member online here

If this project goes as planned at Willy East, and I have every reason to think it will, we will discuss a PV array installation at our West location, also in partnership with Legacy Solar Co-op.

Fond farewell to Dan Frost
Dan Frost, Willy East Store Manager, has accepted a position as a Systems Analyst supporting Epic software for UW Health. He is leaving the Co-op after nearly 23 years of service effective the first week of May. We wish him the best in his new role, although he will be missed! I can honestly say we would not be where we are today were it not for the hard work and dedication of Dan. Thank you and best wishes.

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