Children’s area cleanliness
Q: I was wondering how often you clean the children’s play area at Willy St. East? I view the co-op as very child friendly (the free snacks for little ones when you walk in the door are amazing and the annual meeting fun times!) but the play area was very dirty today:( I’m all for strengthening our immune systems but I probably won’t let my little one play there if it continues to look that way unfortunately. Please help, we love coming there! Thank you:)
A: I spoke with the front end manager about the kids’ area, as they are tasked with keeping the area clean. She told me it is on their check list as something they check on throughout the day. But they do run into a problem, occasionally there are kids playing in there during their cleaning time, so they are not able to get in and do a big clean. They do clean everything down at the end of the night as one of their closing duties. If you ever experience a play area that is not tidy, please let customer service know and they will designate someone to clean the space so your kids can play. We will try to bemore diligent in cleaning, especially with cold and flu season around the corner. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. -Amanda Ikens, Owner Resource Coordinator
Q: Hello. Is it possible to convert a single membership to a household membership by paying the difference between the two full payment fees? We feel we can use the coop more if all of us can shop as members, especially now that there is a store close to where we live. Also, is there a fund to which members can donate to support the discounted memberships for families with income limitations? We are looking forward to patronizing the new north side store and would like to do our little bit to help people in the north side community do so as well. Thanks!
A: Great questions! Converting an Individual Ownership to a Household Ownership is very simple. You may make changes to your account by stopping at Customer Service at any location. There, you will be asked to complete an Owner Resolution Form and the Customer Service Staff will verify how much more equity to invest to bring your Ownership Account up to date.
With regard to donations for discounted Ownerships, the price for a share is the price for a share, per our bylaws and we cannot accept donations to be held for anonymous persons to invest. To make Ownership possible at a variety of income levels, we instead offer various payment plans: either making a one-time full payment ($58 Individual or $93 Household), paying in seven annual installments ($10/yr or $15/yr), or paying in fourteen annual installments while participating in the Access Discount Program for Owners with low income ($4/yr or $7/yr).
The Northside Planning Council is accepting donations to help community members with low income start their Ownership investments. You may donate to them directly by calling 608-230-1221. More information can be found at www.willystreet.coop/gift-ownerships. Thanks for being so thoughtful!
Please let me know if there is anything else we may do for you! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Products at north
Q: I know that Willy North has only been open for only about 3 weeks or so, but since the first or second day I have been asking for long grain white rice ($0.99/lb) to be in the bulk section of the store. You have all other kinds of rice in stock that is way more expensive. This does not make any sense to me because as you know, the north side of madison is not as rich economically as where your other two stores are located. I think you have made a error in not having cheaper staple items like the long grain white rice in stock because when many of the north side residence check out the store they will be shocked at the prices and won’t even start shopping at the store. Please! stock the rice I’m asking for! Thanks!
A: Thank you for your patience. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to find white rice at Willy North. Since we soft-opened 23 days ago we have received literally hundreds of product requests and we are still logging them all for department review. Regardless, I am happy to report that I was at North today and the long grain white rice that is 99¢/lb is already available, and you can find it in one of the white bins on the ground level of the bulk display. Please let us know if we may assist you further. –Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Becoming a board member
Q: I would like to join/contribute to the governance/board for the N Sherman location. May I submit my credentials? I believe my skill set and background will benefit your team. Please let me know. Regards
A: Thank you for your interest in becoming a Board Director! We have one Boardof Directors that governs the entire Co-op; we do not have separate boards for each location. Our Owners elect our Board of Directors. We typically make the call for nominations in April, and so please stay tuned for announcements in our Reader this spring, as that is where you will find the directions for submitting your credentials. For more information about Board Elections, you may visit www.willystreet.coop/co-op-governance and scroll to our bylaws. Section V is in regard to the Board of Directors. Please let me know if you have further questions. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: I just wanted to let you know that the cashier named Kyle at Willy North is one of the best cashiers I have ever experienced. I know that he worked at Pierces and I am so happy that you hired him to work at Willy North. Kyle shows compassion and care for every customer that he helps. He asks how your day is going and really cares to know the answer. He definitely deserves recognition for his work.
A: Thank you so much for the positive feedback! We really appreciate it. I’ve shared your comment with Kyle and his supervisors to enjoy. Have a great day! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Games and CHIPping
Q: PLEASE SHOW BADGER & PACKER GAMES. CLERKS ARE FORGETTING TO ASK IF I CARE TO CHIP. THIS HAPPENED 50% OF THE TIME.
A: Thank you for your suggestion and for letting us know we should remind cashiers to ask you to CHIP at the registers to support Community Shares of Wisconsin. I will pass on that note to our Front End Manager at North, Stacy Iruk.
Regarding Badger and Packer Games, we do not have any plans to offer television in any of our commons. Our space is limited and intended for short visits and small groups (we have a two hour time limit for time spent in the commons). We also suspect that our customers have a wide range of interests and may not all want to watch the same programs. You are welcome to watch programs on your own personal device with your own headphones or earbuds. Please let me know if there is anything else we may do for you. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: I live in an apartment but would like to compost. I just don’t like the idea of my fruit & vegetable peelings ending up in a landfill. Do you know of a place where I could drop off my compost, or someone who could use it?
A: Thanks for asking! The City of Madison offers this service currently in very limited areas through their Community Organic Recycling Effort. There are also private companies that offer household organics collection for a fee. Information about the City program and links to the private companies providing these services is located at www.cityofmadison.com/streets/organics/index.cfm. We contract with Earth Stew for compost collection from our commons at the retail locations as well as from our Central Office, and they are one of the businesses the City recommends (in addition to Rooted Curbside Compost and Curbside Composter). Please let us know if we may assist you further! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: I’m wondering if the Co-op would consider reducing the cost of refills for laundry soap, etc. I know that the Co-op invests in environmental groups. Wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage all Co-op members to refill existing plastic bottles for their soaps—body, dishes and clothes? I can’t even imagine how big a pile of plastic bottles would be that I have refused to use over the years by refilling (at greater cost) the same plastic bottle for 10 years. I would so appreciate if the Co-op wouldmake a big push to get members to re-fill bottles by reducing the cost of these and then not later contributing to organizations that need to clean up the environment from all of our excess. If there is anything I can do to help, I would be happy to do so.
A: Thank you for writing. My apologies that we did not respond to you sooner. We agree it’s a great idea to reuse containers for soaps, and we hope that the benefits of reuse on their own encourage people to do so. However, our bulk items are already priced with a low margin, and we have a higher loss in the self-service areas of the store due to circumstances such as product spillage. That makes offering an incentive for using reusable containers less feasible for us.
With regard to investing in environmental groups, we don’t have any investments, but we do make donations to local groups that contribute to the community good, and we use funding from abandoned Owner equity for charitable grant giving and monies that would traditionally be put towards marketing in other business models for those efforts. Please let us know if we may assist you further! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Lighting at north
Q: I think the parking lot is too dark. Maybe it will be better once the signage is finished but right now it is a little disconcerting.
A: Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback about Willy North. I was the project manager for the Willy North expansion effort, and I can tell you confidently that Willy Street’s team worked with the property owners on improving the lighting in the parking lot and exterior of 2817 N. Sherman Avenue. I also agree that more lighting would be extremely beneficial. I will pass along your feedback to the property owners. You are correct; once the facade is completed and the sign is up, the lighting will improve. Thanks again! Best Regards, James Phetteplace, Director of IT
Local art at the stores
Q: We have so many amazing local artists. I know we display art in the Community Room. But it’s a bit off the beaten path. Maybe we could rotate or display art in the commons or on the walls throughout the Co-op Behind Express Lanes (walls above produce or in deli area).
A: Thanks for the suggestion. It is possible that we could consider this for the commons at Willy West, and we will be offering space to local artists at Willy North in the commons since we do not have a community room at that location. Iwill check in with our Brand Coordinator, Owner Resources Coordinator, and Store Manager at Willy West to see if this is a possibility and if there is enough wall space. Due to our soft and grand openings of Willy North and the holidays coming, I anticipate we could discuss whether or not there is ample space in the Willy West Commons in the New Year.
With regard to the other areas around the store, I would be hesitant to consider, as there would be more opportunities to damage artwork in areas with heavier traffic and exposed to more heat and refrigeration.
We appreciate your feedback and if we make gallery space available in the Willy West Commons, we’ll let you know! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services