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Third Store, Owner Appreciation & More

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” -Mae West 

And, we have many wonderful things to be grateful for! 

This year was a wonderful reminder of what a community can do when we cooperate together. Our Board was willing to take a risk in opening a store on the north side and our dedicated and passionate staff worked with our Owners and the communityto make that a reality. You, our Owners, supported your Co-op with your buying dollars and by purchasing $1.5 million in Owner bonds, which was the bulk of the funding that supported Willy North. The northside community sought your Co-op as their grocery of choice when their local grocery closed, and our eastside and westside communities were generous in sharing their resources. Thank you, thank you. 

You have all been so supportive of us and we wish to show you our appreciation by asking you to join us in Celebration of Co-op Month this October.

Owner Appreciation

We have planned a shopping list of exciting events to celebrate Co-op Month and our 42nd birthday—birthday cake served by Board members, Owner-only sales, free samples, giveaways, opportunities to win prizes and more! Thank you for being a Co-op Owner and for shopping at your Co-op. Our Owner Appreciation celebration runs Monday, October 10th–Sunday, October 16th. See a schedule of events on page 16.

Staff Appreciation 

We have planned an all-staff picnic to show our appreciation, which includes closing early - all stores closing at 6:00pm Saturday, October 8th. Our staff worked very hard to get Willy North open, and to keep operations at Willy Westand Willy East running smoothly after the departures of the long-time store managers and hiring of new staff members. They have certainly earned a party!

Settling at Willy North 

Last month we celebrated Willy North being open with a grand opening celebration. I hope that you were able to come and check it out! All of the major projects there should be complete by the time you read this, and we’ll continue to work through our punch list of smaller things. I wanted to mention a few items in particular:

  • We had originally hoped to be able to accept WIC when we opened, but had some unforeseen challenges. On September 19th we were able to start accepting WIC, and we consider that a major accomplishment in our drive to make Willy North affordable for all shoppers.
  • Because City approval of outdoor seating can take up to 60 days—and because it’s Wisconsin and snow could fly at any time—there is slim chance we could tackle this project this fall, weather-permitting. If not, we’ll have to wait until spring to add the outdoor seating area. 
  • Thank you to all who have provided us with product requests! When we opened we only had 90 percent of what we could have on our shelf; we intentionally kept 10 percent free to be able to add new products based on suggestions. Right before the grand opening weekend we brought in 250 new products based on many of those suggestions, and we’ll be adding more. If Willy North isn’t carrying something you’d like to see, let us know! You can contact us through the website, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or filling out a customer comment form at the Owner Resources Center in the store (it’s to the right of the Customer Service desk). 
  • We continue to receive questions asking if it’s possible to purchase a Co-op Ownership for someone in need. Yes, this is possible! We will also waive the administrative fee for any entity that wants to purchases gift Ownerships for a group of five or more Individuals or Households. To get started, just contact our Owner Records Administrator, Ashley, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you would like to purchase one or more gift Ownerships but don’t have a specific person to whom you’d like to give them, please consider donating money to the Northside Planning Council; they accept donations that will be used to help subsidize Willy Street Co-op Ownerships for those in need on the north side. Contact the Northside Planning Council for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (608) 230-1221.

Your Co-op is now over 34,000 Owners strong and continues to grow. Thank you for continuing to make this 100 percent locally owned and operated business a generous cornerstone of the community. We look forward to seeing you in the stores this month to celebrate what you have all accomplished together. 

 

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