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Third Store Update; On the Horizon; Road Construction; & More

“The spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout and hands full of flowers.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Spring is almost here! On March 20th we, in the northern hemisphere, celebrate the vernal equinox. Same as every year, I welcome the extra hours of light as we transition to warmer months.

THIRD STORE UPDATE
As we reported last month in the newsletter (and at the end of January on our website and through social media), we are investigating a northside location in the Sherman Neighborhood for a potential third store. Pierce’s Northside Market will be ending its lease and we are evaluating that location. Since our announcement we have gotten hundreds of comments via Facebook, Twitter, email, and personal conversations, and the vast majority are supportive of this idea. Kirsten Moore, our Director of Co-op Services, discusses them in detail in her article on page 8.

We have made no decision yet, but expect to in the near future. 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! Our business office address is 1457 E. Washington Ave., Madison WI 53703. 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.

Sherman Neighborhood Association meeting
We’ve been invited to attend the next Sherman Neighborhood Association meeting to share our thoughts on the potential site, as well as hear ideas, hopes and dreams and concerns from those in the community. The event is scheduled for Monday, March 7th, 2016 at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Dr.

On the horizon
Even though the third store is high on the list of priorities for the organization, I am pleased to report that all engines are humming at the retails, Production Kitchen and Central Office. The close of the second quarter financials resulted net income, which means we are back on track to achieve our number one goal by the end of the fiscal year—return to profitability. It is not just about making money, it is about operating a fiscally sound business to be able to support a healthy and happy workforce, future growth opportunities, and maybe return excess income to Owners. Thank you, Owners and customers for your loyalty and support.

Strategic plan development, budgeting for the next fiscal year, producer agreements, Community Reinvestment Fund awards, staff recruitment, hiring and training as well as on-going skills and professional development for those already working at the Co-op, Annual Meeting and Party planning, cooperation and mentorship with start-up cooperatives in our community are all on the docket and work in progress. Whoever said our business is just about selling groceries was wrong!

Jenifer Street road reconstruction
You know the saying, in Wisconsin there are two seasons—winter and road construction. As we leave winter behind, we enter our next unofficial season—road construction. Jenifer Street, the street running along the south side of our East store, is scheduled to be reconstructed starting this spring. While this work will not directly impact the Co-op’s East location, street closures to the west ofthe Co-op on Jenifer Street beginning at Few Street running west through to South Livingston Street will change current commuter traffic patterns as we know them, including Metro bus rerouting. Be prepared for the inevitable challenges that a project of this scope may present, and before you know it the work will be over!

Ecommerce
If you have ever wanted to shop at the Co-op without stepping a foot in the door, now is your chance. Keep an eye out in early April as we launch our (new and significantly improved) online ordering and delivery program. Heck, this could be one away to avoid the hassles related to the eastside road reconstruction!

In Remembrance
In closing, I imagine I am not alone in remembering that nearly a year ago, we lost a member of our community, Tony Robinson. My heart goes out to his family and friends who are coping without him in their lives.

Po WaterduDan KrausePreschool of the artsAlchemy PaintingThe Wild Rumpus CircusHumanNatureMeat Sale ThursdaysNorthside Animal Hospital

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