The Case of the Missing Cheese
Q: I recently had a very big “This is why I love the Co-op!” moment and I’m writing to share and thank all of those involved. I organize a silent auction for a local non-profit and, months ago, was in contact with a local cheese company who is also a vendor at the Co-op. The cheese company agreed to donate a gift box with a variety of delicious cheeses to our auction. Since I live and work close to Willy East, I suggested that when it came time to deliver the donation, I meet a delivery truck in the parking lot when this company makes their regular delivery to the Co-op. We agreed to connect again the week of the auction to solidify plans for the hand-off. Months passed. The week of the silent auction arrived and I tried and tried to get in touch with the cheese company to confirm the plan but they were having a crazy week, too, and we kept missing each other. Knowing that months ago, I’d suggested meeting at the Co-op, I wondered if the cheese donation for my event had gotten delivered and was already there, waiting on me to pick it up. I called Willy East and nobody knew anything. I called the cheese company again. No luck. I called Willy West just in case but nobody knew anything there, either. But the manager at West took my name and number just in case a gift box of cheese suddenly appeared. Everyone was very understanding and patient as I explained my long story about a donated gift box of cheese and the delivery plan that was going wrong. They were so kind, especially considering Co-op staff were never meant to get involved- the plan was to meet the delivery truck in the parking lot to make it simple. How far we had fallen! Then, late in the afternoon the day before the auction, I got a reply from the cheese company that they were so sorry for the delay and that the gift box for my event had been delivered to Willy West. Not long after I got that message, the manager at Willy West called me and said, “Katie, I’m looking at your cheese right now.” The night before the eventis an especially busy time and so to save me the drive to Middleton, Willy West staffer Katherine Kornely volunteered to drop the cheese at Willy East on her way home so I could pick it up in the morning. This was a lifesaver! Event days are the busiest days of the year at my job and this year, my day started off in the best way imaginable by walking into Willy East and beholding the glowing gift box of cheese sitting proudly on the customer service desk. It was clearly labeled, the staff member at the desk was expecting me, and I left basking in the warmth of everyone’s selfless cooperation. Nobody at the Co-op had to be part of this cheese donation but so many were anyhow. Thank you to the cheese company for their wonderful donation—thank you to the East and West cheese departments for listening to my long story and trying to help—and a special thank you to the Willy West manager that day and Katherine for getting the cheese to me just in time for our auction!
A: Katie I’m so glad it all worked out! We were all happy to help. Say hi next time you are in, and spread the word about the Co-op, where dreams come true! -Mike Byrne, Merchandiser
Q: I moved to Milwaukee last year and am interested in joining the local co-op here (Outpost). Is there a way to transfer my membership. Thank you for your assistance.
A: Thanks for letting us know about your move to Milwaukee. We can’t directly transfer your Ownership to Outpost, but I can certainly help you out with closing your account at Willy Street Co-op and refunding you your equity. You can put this refund towards your Membership equity at Outpost.
On the Owner Resolution Form, attached to this email, I’ve gone ahead and have filled out some information for your equity refund. All I need from you is a signature and address you would like to have your refund sent to.
This form can be scanned and emailed back to me, dropped off at one of our Customer Service desks, or you can send it to the address in my signature line. Please let me know if I can further assist you with any Ownership needs.
Thank you for your Ownership! We’ll miss you here at the Co-op but are jazzed you’ll be continuing your Ownership at Outpost. -Ashley Keuhl, Owner Records Administrator
Monarch Butterfly Decline
Q: You’ve probably heard how the monarch butterfly east of the Rockies faces extinction. If not, do an online search for “monarch butterfly decline” and you’ll see it’s received a ton of publicity.
Milkweed is the only plant it lays its eggs on, and milkweed has been disappearing for a number of reasons. You should sell milkweed seeds. I could sell them to you or you could buy them elsewhere. People should plant them before June 15th.
You should also consider planting milkweed on co-op property this year.
A: I have heard of the milk weekweed being the only plant that monarch larvae eat andits importance to the continued survival of the monarch. I appreciate your reminder.
We do sell milkweed seeds from Seed Savers. It is a seed that needs to be stratified [ed note: stratification—the process by which seeds are artificially exposed to cold-moist conditions between layers of soil or peat to encourage subsequent germination in spring], so our sales and stock usually decline as the season moves into warmer weather. However, at Willy East we do have both the Red Milkweed seeds in stock (the preferred food of the larvae) and the Butterflyweed seeds which attracts and feeds not only butterflies but also bees, hummingbirds and moths. Some consider it better purchasing these both as seeds rather than at as a plant that may possibly have been sprayed with chemicals before you purchased it (always remember to ask!). Some believe our good intentions of supplying plants that attract bees and butterflies that have also been treated with pesticides, as part of the reason why we are seeing a decline of bees and butterflies in our ecosystem.
We also have historically had a plethora of milkweed growing on the property here at East. I will keep an eye out to see if it comes up again this year, and keep the maintenance team in the loop. Thanks for your concerns and comment. –Kathy Kemnitz, Wellness Manager–East
Q: Hi, can you tell me why there is a link (www.willystreet.coop/specials/owner-rewards) to the Owner Rewards on the home page and then a separate Owner Rewards that is emailed every week and not available on the home page? I was looking at this list at www.willystreet.coop/specials/owner-rewards and I think there were a couple things not marked. I’m wondering why the 2 different lists of rewards and 1 is on the site & much longer than the other, and 1 is not on the site.
Is the Owner Rewards that’s emailed available anywhere on the site if an owner is logged in or is it only available from the weekly email and from the store flyer? Thank you.
A: Thanks for writing us with your question. The two are different because we compile them in different ways, but are talking about making it one way for both.
The page on our website is all Owner Rewards products currently on sale (with each variety getting its own listing), while the version we email out is most of the products and varieties combined under one. So, for example, on the flyer that gets emailed out we have Seaweed Bath Co. argan shampoo or conditioner, all kinds on sale. On the listing on our website, we have each variety (citrus, lavender, etc.) listed separately.
We have been talking about making the website version the same as the flyer, but I’m curious what your preference is - finding out about every one of the Owner Rewards, or getting a more streamlined version? –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications
Salad bar diversity
Q: Diversity on the Salad Bar! Today, I saw roasted garlic on the salad bar and was thrilled! Thank you so much! I’ve been thinking of asking for something new for salad, like sprouts and black beans and corn, chopped scallions, variety of cheeses and tofu and snap peas are just a few ideas. Also, that sweet basil pesto dressing at East is great, too.
A: Thank you for taking the time to write to us about your thoughts on our salad bar! I’m so glad that you enjoyed our roasted garlic that we have had available recently! Mixing things up on our salad bar has become something we are working hard on doing. As summer moves along, please keep your eyes open for some of the local and wonderful things that we will be able to offer on our salad bar! -Renee Strobel, Deli Manager–West
Q: I really appreciate Willy Street—my store. I haven’t felt that the highercost of organic foods has been beyond my budget because I think I’m healthier. This better health has no price!
A: Thanks so much for the kind words! I couldn’t agree more!! Best,
Megan Minnick, Director of Purchasing