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Beer, Wine and Cider Sales at East

At Willy East, we are hoping to make good on one of the top three requests provided in Owner surveys every year for the past twelve years: adding a small beer, wine and cider section. Offering even a very modest selection of these products will better align our offerings at Willy East with those at Willy North and Willy West and will offer a greater service to our customers. This change to our services will also better align our offerings with the industry standards our competition has set for grocery stores in the area. We are currently the only full service grocery store in the Madison area that does not offer beer, wine and cider, and we are aware that other grocers in the area have the capacity to offer much more. While we have very limited space to make this offering and there is currently no room for us to offer spirits, we feel that this is an important business decision that will help better support the cooperative now and into the future.

We applied for our license in mid-July and the neighborhood meeting that is part of the licensing process is scheduled for Tuesday, August 8 at 7pm.

We plan to have about six feet of cooler space and about six feet of non-refrigerated selections. Product will be limited, and while we have not finalized our selection, we plan to prioritize beers made here in Dane County. Currently, there are no plans to offer purchases for consumption on site, and, unlike what we have space for at Willy North and Willy West, we have no plans to offer spirits. Offering beer, wine and cider at East will not impact inventory of other products currently available, our plan is to reset those areas of the store to make more efficient use of space.

As always, we acknowledge that Star Liquor is our good neighbor, and we have every intention of continuing to cooperate with Star. Our space will be very limited, and as such, we will not have the economy of scale to offer some of the products they offer. We will, of course, continue to allow Star Liquor customers to use our parking lot, and will continue to recommend Star Liquor to our customers for a wider selection and for spirits. We also have a long-standing tradition of working with Star Liquor to provide pairing tips with recipes in our monthly Reader. We hope to continue that great collaboration and discuss more ways that we can be an asset to each other.

Ultimately, we see the addition of a small beer, wine and cider selection as one that will be of a convenience to shoppers, one that will make good on a long-term request from our cooperative Owners. We hope to have the support of the neighborhood in this endeavor.