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National Co-op Month; Union Representation; and More!

by Anya Firszt, General Manager

The month of October has a plethora of national observations to celebrate including Vegetarian Awareness Month,  Pickled Peppers Month, Apple Month, and Farm to School Month, but the one that is near and dear to me is National Co-op Month. 

October is National Co-op Month!

Willy Street Co-op is celebrating Co-op Month along with hundreds of other co-ops across the country. Cooperatives have been celebrating Co-op Month since the mid 1930s, and Willy Street Co-op joined the pack starting in 1974 when we opened our first retail store on Williamson Street. This marks our 45th year in business, and we have you to thank for our success. 

Willy Street Co-op strives to provide the goods and services you ask for, and when possible we source these goods and services from cooperatively owned businesses. If supporting the cooperative business model is important to you, please consider supporting any number of our local and regional cooperatives. Co-ops come in many shapes and sizes—providing everything from groceries to cab rides to hardware. You can likely find a co-op that fits one or more of your personal needs. 

Owner Appreciation week: October 7-13

One way we can say thank you and offer appreciation this month is during Owner Appreciation week, which is October 7-13. We will be celebrating our birthday, and at each store we have for you Owner-only sales promotions, the chance to win great prizes, daily product samples, and a Fair Trade produce display at Willy West that may earn world’s largest classification! These products will be offered at a discount to Owners at all of our stores.

And, what better way to celebrate a birthday than with CAKE! Our Board of Directors will be serving cake at each store on Sunday, October 13 starting at 12:00pm. 

Willy North Mural 

We have another special celebration this month, also on Sunday, October 13 beginning at 12:00pm, we will dedicate the new mural at Willy North. This community art project was done in collaboration with Dane Arts Mural Arts. Check it out! 

Union representation 

The staff who are members of the bargaining unit at Willy Street Co-op voted in favor of union representation on September 4, 2019. We have received notification from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of Certification of Representation by the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America (UE), and we recognize the union. 

Our management team respects the decision that our staff have made, and we will in good faith move to collective bargaining with the goal of reaching an agreement. I will share any further developments on a contract via our website and newsletter.

Upcoming Food Co-op Conference 

Willy Street Co-op is pleased to host the 2020 Up and Coming Food Co-op Conference on March 6-7, 2020. This conference is designed to offer people who are interested in starting a co-op some tools to help them in their journey. The conference is coordinated by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center and its partner Food Co-op Initiative. To read more about this exciting opportunity for start up co-ops to get a leg up, check out this website:

Madison votes! 

Thank you to everyone who voted once again Willy Street Co-op your favorite grocery store in the Isthmus MadFaves poll! And, please vote for us again in the Madison Magazine/ poll.

Special store hours and dates to think about

Thanksgiving Day, November 28: Stores are open 7:30am-2:30pm.

Online shopping and delivery from Willy Street Co-op 

Shopping online for store pick-up or home delivery could help make your holiday baking stress-free and more fun, find out how here: 

We truly appreciate you, our Co-op Owners—thank you for your patronage. You are the reason we are here. 

Until next month.