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Earth Day; Board Elections; Willy North Improvements; & More

April brings a few things to celebrate: April Fool’s Day, Earth Day, and William Shakespeare’s birthday. It marks the beginning of our fourth fiscal quarter, and continued budget planning! 

Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Expenditure Planning 

Last month, I mentioned we have begun planning for next fiscal year’s budget, which also includes budgeting for capital expenditures. These items are not part of the operating budget, but single expenditures that cost over a certain dollar amount; in our case, that 

is $2.000. These may include new purchases to improve efficiencies for staff (ex: electric pallet jack) or product selection or offerings (ex: rotisserie oven). Some are simple to execute; remove 

the old unit, install the new one. And, others may be complicated due to multiple moving parts; from more than one piece of equipment, to walls or counters, and possible down-time that needs to be communicated to staff and customers. 

There is a line in the capital budget we reserve for unplanned opportunities, which can also mean unexpected breakdowns. Last month, Willy North had a major breakdown of the refrigeration equipment, and now we are faced with replacing some coolers sooner than anticipated, and sooner than the next fiscal year. 

Our annual capital budget has grown over the last several years, which should be no surprise given that we now operate five sites: three stores, a commissary kitchen, and a central office. It seems we are in a continuous state of upgrading, replacing, or rearranging something somewhere. 

When a site has needs that step outside the traditionally defined capital expenditures, mainly will cost more than 10% of total Co-op equity, we need to ask Owners for approval. We are looking at a modest remodel for Willy West that may meet this criteria. Should we proceed with this work, you’ll be asked to consider this in July’s Board election ballot. 


“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” -Gaylord Nelson

Earth Day was first observed 47 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 17th-23rd, enjoy 10% off organic bulk products (except coffee)—good time to stock up! 

Annual Board Elections

This year there are four seats to that need tobe filled: three three-year seats and a one-year seat (due to a Board member resignation). Candidate statements are due June 1st—you still have time! Elections are held the first three weeks of July; candidates are invited to address the membership at the Annual Meeting & Party (AMP) on July 13th, as part of the business meeting. Owners are invited to cast a ballot as well at the AMP. Look for more details inthe Board Report 

Annual Customer Survey coming in May 

Reminder that this year’s survey will be included in the May Reader and can be returned via US Mail or deposited at the retails. The survey can also be completed online via our website. 

Bag Credit program changing

Starting April 3rd… see page 8 for our new program details. 

willy north Improvements

If you’ve shopped at Willy North in the last few weeks (maybe for our Flash Sale there?), you probably noticed the improvements to our “Aisle of Value.” This is the area where we have pallets of low-priced products, and we’ve added many more products since the end of February. 

Like many grocers, our stores have security challenges at different times and to different degrees, but Willy North has experienced a bit more than we are used to. As a result, we have engaged a security company to help us. The company will be trained in our customer service expectations to ensure all customers continue to have the friendly and helpful experience you’ve come to expect from your Co-op.    

I mentioned we had major refrigeration breakdown at Willy North last month. I want to offer my sincere gratitude to all staff for everything they did to cut our losses, as well as the creative problem-solving used to merchandise, move and store everything cold. Thank you. 

In closing, “April gives way to May; flowers will be in bloom because of the water provided to them by the April rains.” -Proverb. 

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