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Changes in Willy West’s Deli

October starts my favorite time of year, Autumn. You can see it in the changing colors of the leaves. Smell it in the aroma of apples ripe and ready to pick, the distinct Autumn scent in the air. You can hear it in the nuts falling from trees, squirrels scampering to gather their Winter’s bounty. Feel it in those first crisp mornings and the warmth of an Indian Summer sun on yourface. Most of all you can taste it—beets, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, cranberries and Brussels sprouts, to name a few personal favorites. You can sense that Mother Earth is getting ready for a Winter’s nap.

Local produce
Change is happening in the Deli at Willy West as well. We will be incorporating as much of the available local produce into our Hot Bar menus as possible. Think leek and parsnip gratin, pear and blackberry cobbler, sweet potato casserole, Brussels sprouts in browned butter with walnuts and cranberry apple bread pudding. We’ve been able to produce simple dishes in-house using fresh local items for our Hot Bar, and Autumn’s bountiful harvest season promises to bring tasty, healthy delights for you all.

Fall sandwich menu
We are introducing our new Fall sandwich menu, keeping many of your favorites—grass-fed and Prime Rib burgers, the Cuban, regular or tofu reuben, house-made gyros, the BLAST and our own muffaletta. We’ll be replacing some of the slow-movers with more exciting, seasonal offerings and one lucky person will have a sandwich named after them. We’ll soon be announcing the winner of the first annual Willy West Sandwich Contest—this information will be available on our website, Facebook, Twitter and of course, at Willy West.

Looking towards the holidays, we will be preparing Thanksgiving dinner in-house with help, as always, from our friends at the Production Kitchen. Holiday pies will be available starting October 15th and in the West Deli we will be taking orders for holiday meals as well as offering a variety of side dishes in our Grab-n-Go area. We have packaging for servings of two to four, four to six, and six to eight people. We are finalizing our menu selections and they will be available to you by the 15th. As always, you can find them on our website, Facebook, Twitter and in our West Deli. We will have traditional as well as vegetarian and vegan offerings—something for everyone!

In the Deli we will be focusing on providing and preparing many made-without-gluten dishes in conjunction with our Production Kitchen. While we can’t guarantee no cross-contamination, as our kitchens do prepare foods made with gluten, our focus will be to bring to our people with this food challenge a variety of tasty, healthy dishes. And, you don’t have to be gluten-free to enjoy the offerings either!

International year of cooperatives 2012
October 31st is a pretty special day as well. The United Nations will be kicking off the International Year of Cooperatives 2012. Can you imagine global recognition of Cooperatives? Their slogan is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” We are all part of this, each and everyone of you who are Owners or shop with us have helped bring awareness globally to the value of being part of a Cooperative. As a child growing up on Madison’s eastside I remember (okay going back some 40+ years, my memory might be a bit fuzzy) my parents got involved with The Common Market, a grassroots effort to bring better quality, affordable foods to families. I’m sure there are many of you out there that remember or were part of it. Anyway, being a 10-year-old with my 3-year-old brother in tow, there were no Captain Crunch or cartoons on Saturday mornings for us! We were up at 6:00am ready to go, at first I remember Eagle Heights being the place we all met, unloading the trucks, filling bags with various produce, dairy and bulk products, checking off each item as we went along (while trying to keep my bro in check), placing the orders in boxes for each individual to pick up. Eventually the truck drop-off/pick-up site changed to Willy Street as I remember, and every Saturday, my family was there. Who knew what we were starting way back then in 1969? I certainly had no idea, but I knew it was something special—all of usworking together with everyone seeming happy. There was a genuine sense of camaraderie and purpose. Those memories have lasted and influenced my choices throughout my life. Now we are all being recognized as part of a worldwide family of Cooperatives. This is something that really makes me proud to be part of and I hope you all are as well.

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