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Cheese Challenge; Pronoun Stickers; and More!

by Anya Firszt, General Manager

Hello March! 

The March weather forecast can be hard to predict; snow showers one day, rain showers the next.

March Madness Cheese Challenge 

You don’t need to know how to play basketball to participate in our version of the seasonal event known as March Madness—you just need to like cheese. Our third annual Cheese Challenge is set to begin March 21 lasting through March 31. You are invited to play along and sample 16 local Wisconsin cheeses that are vying for the top-seeded position. You can vote weekly for your favorite local Wisconsin cheese, with the winners advancing to the next round until we get a Cheese Champion. Anyone can submit their completed bracket before the tasting begins— the one that most closely matches the end results will win eight pounds of cheese. Good tasting. 

$5 Dinner—more cheesy goodness

Mark your calendar for this month’s $5 Dinner at Willy North for Thursday, March 21, from 4:00pm-8:00pm. The Mac & Cheese Bar is back by popular demand! The main course is macaroni and cheese with assorted toppings including bacon, hot dogs, broccoli and sautéed mushrooms; a green salad; and a cookie. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available. Eat in, carry out. All for $5! 

Access Discount

Access Discount annual renewal is again happening in March; if you are a recipient of this program, please check in at the Customer Service desk to renew your access. 

If you are not yet signed up for this program, anyone who has a financial need can apply. This program offers a 10% discount on food and other products purchased at the Co-op and a longer-term, more affordable Ownership payment plan. To learn more, check out the information posted on our website: willystreet.coop/ownership/access-discount-program or ask about it at the Customer Service desk at each store. 

Meet the Board and GM 

We’ve carved out some time to be at the stores to meet you, answer any of your questions or address any concerns. Our next scheduled time is at Willy North on March 17, from 11:00am-1:00pm. On April 14, we’ll be at Willy West, and on May 19, we’ll be at Willy East. 

If those dates and time don’t work for you, you can reach the Board at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-237-1210. 

Pronoun stickers

You may have noticed some Co-op staff are wearing a pronoun sticker on their name badge. We wanted staff to be able to proudly share their prefered pronoun, and these stickers can help move the conversation along. Wearing a pronoun sticker is a personal choice, not a requirement. 

Annual Board elections 

It’s that time of year again to consider if this is the year you decide to run for the Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors. This year, three 3-year seats will be vacated at the end of fiscal year, which need to be filled by maybe you?

Candidates are required to attend at least one Board meeting and Candidate Orientation Session prior to the election. The Board meets regularly the third Tuesday of each month; meetings begin at 6:30 pm, and are held at the Co-op’s administrative offices, which is located at 1457 E. Washington Ave., Madison. Candidate statements are due June 3. Elections are held the first three weeks of July, and candidates are invited to address Owners at the Annual Meeting & Party (AMP) on July 11, as part of the business meeting. Owners can cast their ballot as well as at the AMP. Look for more information in the upcoming Reader publications or on our website.

Kudos to our staff 

In the last month and a half, we’ve had a number of snow and cold weather emergencies notices, and more no-school days than I remember having my entire time in elementary school! I want to extend a big shout out to our staff that made it to work on even the worst of those days to see that the stores were open for business—I applaud their fortitude and stick-to-itiveness. Thank you! 

To those staff who stayed home to care for their little ones that were unable to go to school, I applaud them as well! And, to those that were simply not able to make it in for whatever reason, thanks for taking care of your safety. Thank you! 

Regardless of the weather forecast, more daylight hours are in our future. 

Until next month.