Q: We get electronic receipts and one that came today for $26.30 was not ours.
A: Thank you for letting us know that you were sent an e-receipt for a purchase that was not yours.
When this occurs, it is usually due to an incorrect entry of the Owner number by the cashier and not a sign of account misuse or anything else to be concerned about. We are taking these opportunities to remind cashiers that they need to verbally verify the name on the account when they enter in the Owner number at the beginning of the transaction.
That said, please keep us informed if you continue to experience this error. If that were to happen, we may be able to better identify what mistake is being made specifically and have better luck preventing it from happening down the line.
Thank you for your time! Please let us know if there is anything else we may do for you. -Robert Halstead, Cooperative Services Assistant
A few complaints
Q: HOT BAR SUCKS (NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THE WEST SIDE OR WILLY) BREAKFAST SANDWICHES ARE TERRIBLE. ALL THE BEST EMPLOYEES FROM WILLY ARE HERE NOW (WHICH SUCKS TOO). THE ONLY GOOD THING ‘“IMO” is the parking. I doubt this store will turn a profit
A: Thanks for sharing, and I’m sorry to hear that you do not enjoy the North hot bar, breakfast sandwiches, East, or staff, but I am happy to report that we have already been meeting and exceeding our sales projections for North since opening. North is a work in progress and we’ve been making changes each and every day based on customer feedback so that we can serve our customers in the area to the best of our ability. I’m proud to work with the creative teams at all our stores that have been doing everything they can to adapt and be more responsive to our customers as our community grows and evolves. In this spirit, I have passed on your feedback about the hot bar and the breakfast sandwiches at North to our Prepared Foods team and we will see what we can do for you. And you’re right, the parking is great there. Take care -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: How long does it take to receive owner equity back? I submitted the form > 1 month ago. Thanks.
A: Thanks for your question about the length of time it takes the Co-op to refund Owner Equity. The time it takes the Co-op to issue a refund can vary depending on when the request was made and when the next Board of Directors meeting is.
On the back of your Fair Share contract, Bylaw 3.10 states, “The balance existing in each Owner’s Fair Share account shall be refunded upon termination of Ownership, within 90 days of demand, subject to the Board of Directors determining when money is available for refunds and how much may safely be refunded each fiscal year.”
While the Co-op is permitted up to 90 days to refund Owner equity, generally refunds do not take this long. As stated above, it can take a month or more to refund equity because the Co-op’s Board of Directors must first approve any equity leaving the Co-op. The Board meets about once every six weeks. Once the Board has approved the release of equity, we can create refund for any Owners requesting a refund.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions about your equity refund. And thank you for being an Owner at Willy Street Co-op! -Ashley Kuehl, Owner Records Administrator
Q: Instead of CHIP or in addition to it consider donation (% of purchases) to specific approved orgs. like Pierces’s Food store did. The Friends of Cherokee Marsh received lump sums at the end of year from purchases there made by members.
A: Thanks for the suggestion. We have a longstanding relationship with Community Shares of Wisconsin, the benefactor of the Community CHIP program, and that supports 60-70 member nonprofits with a collective average of $225,000 annually. We just ran an article they wrote about their 45th anniversary in our Reader here: www.willystreet.coop/reader/august-2016/community-shares-
In addition, we run a holiday Pantries of Plenty Campaign at the checkout lines, which has benefited four neighborhood food pantries near Willy East and Willy West over the past two years: Goodman Community Center, the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, the Lussier Community Education Center and Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM). This winter we will add The River Food Pantry and Bread of Life Food Pantry to the POP program, and they will also be the beneficiaries of the food donated by customers at Willy North. Occasionally, we will also open the registers for natural disaster relief campaigns or specific local campaigns tied to our Co-op’s mission as well (such as when we partnered with FEED Kitchens to raise money for their opening, or when we partnered with World Food Program USA to raise money for Earthquake Relief in Nepal). We also do direct giving to a variety of nonprofits and sponsor neighborhood association events throughout the year, and you can find out more about how to make requests at www.willystreet.coop/submit/donation-request. Nonprofits and cooperatives may also apply for our Community Reinvestment Fund for project grants. Details can be found at www.willystreet.coop/charitable-giving#toc-3. At this time, we have no plans to change our register programs. If you know of an organization that is interested in applying to become a Community Shares of Wisconsin member, you may contact them directly at www.communityshares.com. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Proud to be an owner
Q: Megan- Thanks for your article in the recent Willy Street Reader. So thoughtful. So honest. It is because of people like you that I am a proud Coop member for over 30 years. Yes, we have to live into our values. Thanks for being so articulate about all the conflicting values and their gift to us.
A: Thanks for your kind words! I have to admit, I felt like I was taking a little bit of a chance with this article (http://s.coop/24g1y), and I wasn’t sure if the point would get across, but it’s really great to know that my thoughts resonated with Owners such as yourself.
See you at Willy North! Warm Regards, Megan Minnick, Director of Purchasing
Q: This question has been on my mind (and it’s certainly not unique to the co-op): why do you provide discounts for reusing bags but no discount for using one’s hands to carry their items out of the store, which are far more sustainable than paper or cloth bags?
A: Thanks for asking. You are not the first to wonder! The Co-op started the reused bag program in 2005 not only to promote environmental stewardship, but to also provide greater economic sustainability to your cooperative. The idea was that we would spend less giving credit to a customer who brought their own bag than we would on distributing new paper bags. In order to keep this program cost effective, the Co-op focused on those customers who needed a bag for ease of transport and developed this criteria: “A bag must be reasonably full before you can use a second one (e.g. to receive the credit). Purchases under $3.00 are not eligible for reimbursement.” While it might not always be the case, most small transactions would not fit in with either of these parameters, and so for consistency’s sake, we require that customers’ purchases fall within these guidelines in addition to presenting a bag to reuse.
Today, on average, each new paper bag costs us 11¢-17¢. In the last Fiscal Year, we spent approximately $66,700 on new paper bags, and approximately $52,400 on the reused bag program. Including small transactions that do not require a bag in this program would likely reverse the economic advantages of giving customers 5¢ for a reused paper or plastic bag, and 10¢ for a reusable bag.
We have been discussing reviewing this program, and so your feedback isnot only appreciated, but also timely. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: WHO MADE UP YOUR CURRENT MUSICIAN’S POLICY—WAS IT A POLICEMAN? LOL!
A: Fun question! The Musicians’ Policy has evolved over time and is overseen by the Co-op Services Department and Store Management. It covers all locations. There are about six to eight people who review any changes, and they’re based on incidents that have occurred outside the store over time. We agree, it has become heavy on policy, and unfortunate that we have had to become so strict about musicians playing outside the stores, however, it is our job to make sure that we provide a safe environment for our customers. That means we need to be extra clear about the rules and ensure that they have been read. Thanks for writing. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services