Hello Co-op Owners! I have a new position at Willy Street Co-op. You have seen me for the past 10 years working at the Customer Service desk or cashiering in the Front End. In October, I transferred into our Cooperative Services department as the Owner Records Administrator. This is a new position at the Co-op that oversees and monitors over 20,000 Owner records. I am privileged to work with the Front End teams at each store, as well as the Finance team in our administrative offices. I work with the Front End to make sure application data is entered properly and that Owner information is stocked and available. I am also a great resource for troubleshooting issues within our Owner database and files. I work with the Finance team on issuing equity refund checks and the Co-op’s first-time-ever patronage refund dispersals.
In addition to monitoring individual and household fair shares, the Co-op also has Ownerships for cooperative businesses and non-profit organizations. I wanted to take some time to write about these special Ownerships because they are present on our Fair Share contracts. Truthfully, the Co-op has ALWAYS offered voting Ownership in accordance with bylaw 3.2: “Ownership in the Co-op shall be voluntary and open to any person, household, cooperative or non-profit corporation that wishes to support the Co-op’s activities, intends to use its services, and will accept the responsibilities of Ownership.” Now the Co-op has a formal application for these entities.
Non-profit organizations or cooperative businesses of any kind can join the Willy Street Co-op. The cost of Ownership is a household shareholding of $91 to be paid in full or in annual increments of $13.00 per year for seven years (this includes the $2 administrative fee per equity payment). Cooperatives must submit a copy of their co-op’s articles of incorporation for our records along with the application. Non-profit organizations along with their application must submit a copy of their IRS Letter of Determination for our records. Cooperatives and non-profit organizations have one voting member for our annual Ballots and Elections; they are listed on the application as the “Secondary Owner.”
Cooperatives and non-profit organizations can request up to 10 Willy Street Co-op Shopper Cards for their employees/members to use to make purchases for their co-op. Cashiers will be asking to see these cards at the time of check out. These shopper cards CANNOT be used for the shopper’s personal purchases, only for the co-op or non-profit they represent. Shoppers can, and are encouraged to, sign up for their own Fair Share equity into the Willy Street Co-op.
If your cooperative or non-profit organization was issued a Co-op number and shopped actively for Fiscal Year 2010 (July 2009-June 30th, 2010), a patronage refund store credit will be issued to you once your equity has been confirmed. Your payment can be charged to your Willy Street Co-op pre-paid charge account. (Please note our older co-op/non-profits only had charge accounts within the Co-op, these accounts DID NOT factor in equity at that time).
Applications and a complete list of Shopping Guidelines are available at Customer Service at either location. If you would like more information about these Ownerships please contact me at or give me a call during my office hours Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:00pm. I would be happy to speak with you and answer your questions.