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Willy Street Co-op Grand Reopening Set for September 12th-14th

Willy Street Co-op Grand Reopening Set for September 12th-14th

$4 Million Project Completed in Less than a Year

Madison, WI—(September 5, 2014)—The Willy Street Co-op, Madison’s largest consumer-owned economically and environmentally sustainable grocery store, with two locations in the Madison area, is celebrating the grand reopening of the 9,200-square-foot Willy East store at 1221 Williamson St., on Friday, September 12, through Sunday, September 14. See the full list of activities here.

"This remodel gave us hundreds of improvements large and small," said Anya Firszt, general manager of the Co-op, in a statement. "We are so appreciative of the owners who continued to shop at their co-op. Even if they temporarily switched to shopping at Willy West during this construction, they still stuck with their co-op. It's time to celebrate the completion of this project!"

The $4 million owner-approved remodel was approved in July of last year. Construction began in November, and the store remained operational during the project. The co-op recycled 486 tons of construction waste, which totaled approximately 93 percent of the total construction waste. In addition, sustainable materials used include reclaimed wood (used for seating-area flooring), signage and frames, Kirei Board for the customer service desk, and more efficient coolers and freezers. 

Features of the newly remodeled store include:

  • New Fresh Juice Bar
  • A Full-Service Meat Counter
  • A Hot Bar with a Varied Selection of Meats and Other Delicacies
  • Expanded Space for Dry Storage
  • Expanded Walk-In Cooler and Freezer Space
  • More Office and Meeting Space
  • New Community Room
  • New Gender-Neutral Bathrooms
  • An Improved Entrance and Exit
  • A New Courtyard for Live Music

Contractors for the project include Aro Eberle, who worked to incorporate co-op values with the efficiency needed in the architecture. Major contractors included Cold Springs Design, Huffman Facility Development, and Vogel Brothers Building Company. Major subcontractors include Hooper Corporation, Electric Construction Inc., and Commercial Air. Kelly Humphrey, MLA and LEED AP+, served as green building and sustainability consultant.

The grand re-opening will kick-off at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 12, with samples from Farmer John’s Cheese, Howling Wolf BBQ, and Kebob-bq with Willy Beef. Then, at 3:30 p.m. on that day, Boo Bradley’s acoustic jug band will play for the crowd, live in the courtyard. Throughout the weekend, visitors will enjoy live music, free food, and samples from a variety of local vendors including Kickapoo Coffee, Sassy Cow, Urban Honey, Seven Seeds Farm, Cesar’s Cheese, Yumbutter, Greenbush Bakery, Just Coffee, Organic Valley and others.

The Willy Street Co-op is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Follow the store at Facebook or on Twitter at @willystreetcoop.

Founded in 1974, Willy Street Co-op customers have invested over $2,000,000 in local nonprofits through the Community CHIP program since the program's beginning in approximately 1978. The Co-op has contributed $283,000 to local nonprofits through the Willy Street Co-op Community Reinvestment Fund since 1992. The Co-op has created several innovative programs, including the Community Reinvestment Fund and a partnership with the Food Enterprise and Economic Development Kitchens Project (FEED) to improve access to local food and agricultural production.

The Co-op now has more than 31,000 Owners. The Co-op employs more than 350 people and last year had sales of more than $42 million dollars. The Willy Street Co-op is Madison’s largest consumer-owned natural foods store, offering organic, gluten-free and locally produced foods. The member-owners of the Co-op believe that a sustainable local economy is vital to the health and well-being of everyone in the community.

Anyone can shop at the Co-op, and everyone is welcome to join and become an owner. For more information on the Willy Street Co-op, please visit