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Earth Day; Board Elections; and More

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by Anya Firszt, General Manager

I am writing this update on a sunny afternoon in late March with the sweet anticipation of what April has in store for us—warmer days, more daylight, along with a few days to celebrate, including April Fool’s Day, Earth Day and, not to be forgotten, tax day.

 

EARTH DAY

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970; this year we will observe the 48 years of Earth Day with a few in-store events. Bulk grocery products are on sale at 10% off (excluding coffee) for the week of April 16–22, so it is a great time to stock up for the spring! We will also highlight our producers that support environmentally sustainable practices including Organic Valley, Just Coffee, and Tankabar. To learn more about the ways in which these producers contribute positively to the environment, check out page 9.

 

WILLY WEST REMODEL AND EXPANSION

As you all must know by now, Willy West is expanding! We are moving into the vacated store fronts located to the west of the current site, adding about 5,100 square feet to the total operating space.

Construction is slated to start by the middle of this month, beginning with demolition work in the vacated space. The Deli, Juice & Coffee Bar, Cheese, Beer & Wine sections, and the checkout lanes/Customer Service desk footprint of the store will experience the most disruption. Thank you for your patience as we begin to make our way through the multiple phases of construction. If all goes as planned, we should be wrapping things up in mid-October. Should the thought of noise, construction or disruption to your regular routine make you cringe (although we aim to keep these to a minimum as much as we are able), please consider shopping at Willy East or Willy North.

 

OPERATIONS

I wanted to share with you a brief update on how well your Co-op is managing our business. We are a year and a half into tenure of our third store, Willy North, which is seeing performance even better than budget. Through our investment in expansion at Willy West, we will continue to champion the support of sales growth as well as improved services to our customers. We now have four seasoned site directors (including our Kitchen Director) committed to working with Co-op employees and management to shepherd the Co-op into the future. You can take pride in the work this group is doing to manage expenses, provide leadership to personnel, identify efficiencies, and provide expanded goods and services to you, our Owners.

 

ANNUAL BOARD ELECTIONS

Are you interested in serving on our Board of Directors? Three seats are up for election in the coming fiscal year, with terms lasting three years. If you are considering applying, keep the following dates in mind: candidate statements are due June 1; voting runs July 1 through 6:00pm on July 17. Owners are invited to cast a ballot by mail, in person at the stores, at the Annual Meeting & Party (AMP), or online.

This year’s applicants should be aware of the requisites they must meet before running. Requirements for running include attending one Board orientation session on one of the upcoming dates, either April 21, 1:00-2:00pm, or on May 21, 6:00-7:00pm. Candidates must also have attended at least one Board meeting, with the remaining ones taking place on April 17, and May 15. Board meetings are held at the Co-op’s Central Office located at 1457 E. Washington Ave and begin at 6:30pm.

Because we need your current email address if you plan to vote online, this is your annual reminder to check in with the staff at Customer Service to update or add yours today.

 

ANNUAL MEETING & PARTY (AMP)

It’s not too early to mark your calendar for the 2018 AMP! The AMP marks the opening night of La Fete de Marquette—a four-day music festival organized by the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center celebrating community with lots of music, crafts, local cuisine, ice cold beer, wine, and family fun! This summer festival is scheduled for Thursday, July 12 at Madison’s Central Park! Festivities begin at 4:00pm. The retails will not be closing early.

 

IN CLOSING

If you are looking to interact with me about operational issues, take note that face time with the GM has shifted from Monday evening to Sunday afternoon. The next scheduled time is Sunday, April 15 at Willy North from 2:00–3:00pm. I look forward to seeing you at Willy West in May! You can also reach me by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or calling me on my direct line: 608-237-1210.

With the change in weather, getting outside more is a must! Start planning for seedlings! They will be here before you know it.

 

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