by Anya Firszt, General Manager
April showers bring May flowers! All three stores will have a full supply of plant starts for you by Mother’s Day from West Star Farms and Voss Organics. These young plants are locally sourced and organically grown. And, we have literally tons of Purple Cow Organic compost growing mixes and soil-enhancing products to help your garden grow even better!
The Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics has been awarded to Willy Street Co-op. Willy Street Co-op submitted an application after being nominated for the award. In the application, we explained how ethics is a core part of how it treats employees, how we work with vendors and community partners, and how we interact with more than 35,000 Co-op Owners. The Co-op shared many examples of our ethical practices, from quarterly all-worker meetings and a digital intranet forum, to transparency in its annual report and customer comment responses, to offering Double Dollars vouchers and helping out other cooperatives.
Fiscal year-end in sight
We are hoping to wrap up a few planned projects before the fiscal year end, which comes at the end of June.
Willy East Commons is getting a new floor treatment, which is planned to happen over a few nights the first week of June, June 2–7 to be exact. The East Community Room will be used as customer seating while the Commons area is under construction and unavailable. The liquid bulk section at East is getting a facelift, which will result in a shift and relocation of a few other subdepartments into the bulk aisle. Stay tuned.
Willy North is adding new office and meeting space, with the renovation work beginning mid-May lasting through mid-June. There will be little or no disruption on the retail floor initially, however some disruption will occur the second week of June when a hole is cut for a doorway to join the retail and the new space.
Willy West is getting the finishing touches from the expansion projects: a few new refrigerated cases and new shelving units. Plus a few improvements at the rear of the building with new fencing, a better means to house seasonal equipment, and screening to better contain our pallets and various boxes from view.
And, finally, the Production Kitchen walk-in freezer project should be past the planning stages and onto the physical work of removing the old unit and constructing the new one. A second phase of this project will happen in the next fiscal year, avoiding the general work and chaos leading up to the Annual Meeting & Party (AMP).
Willy West shoppers: if you visit our store from the west via University Avenue, road reconstruction work will be happening between Park St. and Cayuga St. through mid-June, so you may have to find alternate routes in the next few months. For details, see visit.news/middleton.
Board of Directors elections coming up
You still have time to meet the requirements to run for the Board. A few important points and dates for you to know about:
• Candidates are required to attend at least one Board meeting to be eligible to run for the Board; the Board meets next on May 21 beginning at 6:30pm at the Co-op’s administrative offices located at 1457 E. Washington Ave.
• Candidates are required to attend a Candidate Orientation Session prior to the election; there are two more sessions scheduled for Willy North (Lakeview Library) at 2:00pm on May 4, and Willy West at 6:00pm on May 9.
• Candidate statements are due June 3 at noon.
• Candidates are invited to address Owners at the Annual Meeting & Party on July 11, as part of the business meeting.
• Candidate statements will be included in the July Reader publication or on our website www.willystreet.coop.
You can vote online (if we have your current email address), or cast your ballot at any of our retails, or mail your ballot to 1457 E. Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53703. I, for one, am looking forward to meeting the final slate of Board candidates, and hearing them all speak at the Co-op’s Annual Meeting on July 11.
$5 Dinner: dinner made for you!
The $5 Dinner is again happening on the third Thursday of the month. Mark your calendar for May 16 to be at Willy North from 4:00pm–8:00pm for some good eats! The featured main course this month is BBQ chicken or BBQ jackfruit, fresh coleslaw, potato chips, and a cookie. We are able to satisfy vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets! Eat in or carry out. Yummy!
Board and GM Tabling