General Manager's Report
Giving Tuesday; Willy North Updates; and More!

All I can say is, Thanks! 

After 30 years, I can still say it is my sincere pleasure to work for this Co-op, but nothing gives me more joy than spending a few precious hours working at the retails during the holiday season. During these times, it’s always heartwarming to hear directly from Owners who stop to share their appreciation for the work we do. And, while it means a great deal, my thanks is to each of you for supporting us in so many ways. 

Beyond Black Friday and Cyber Tuesday is Giving Tuesday 

The approaching season is a meaningful time for many, but can be a challenge for those less fortunate. During this time, please consider donating what you can during Giving Tuesday (November 28th, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving). One way you can give is by making a cash donation to our Double Dollars program, which the Co-op will match to double your donation, up to $10,000 to further support our neighborhood food pantries. 

Your contributions of cash or food will be shared equally with our pantry partners. Those include Bread of Life Food Pantry, Goodman Community Center - Fritz Food Pantry, Lussier Community & Education Center, Middleton Outreach Ministry, The River Food Pantry, and Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center. 

See page 18 to learn more from Kirsten Moore, Co-op Services Director about Double Dollars and Pantries of Plenty. 

Owner Appreciation Week 

Big thanks to our Purchasing department for negotiating exceptional sales for our Owner Appreciation week celebration. It was great to see so many people stocking up on the stellar selection of offerings. And to Event Coordinator, Jack Kear, for putting together a plentiful and delicious sampling of treats throughout the stores.

Wisconsin Chapter 185, update on potential changes to the Wisconsin Cooperative laws

Since reporting on AB 353 (seeking to amend Wis. Chapter 185, the statute governing the way in which cooperatives may conduct and structure their businesses), the bill has continued to move through the governing houses, but there’s still a long way to go. Along the way, there will be different opportunities to view the information—stay tuned and I will continue to digest the news and report out to you.

For a detailed look at the proposed amendments to the statute, how it relates to our cooperative, and links to the bills and opposing positions taken by Cooperative Network and Wisconsin Farmers Union, visit willystreet.coop/cooperative-bills. 

Willy North updates

Last month our Willy North outdoor seating area project was completed in time for the opening of our new neighbor, Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin, as well as the ‘Patties on the Patio’ event to benefit the Northside Planning Council.

The Juice and Coffee Bar is the next project on the docket at Willy North. But, before we start that project, we wanted to squeeze in another improvement with the much-needed replacement of a 24’ refrigerated produce cooler that was well past its prime.

Willy East Beer & Wine Application

Over the many years of asking Owners for their opinion for ways to improve our goods and services at East, bringing back beer and adding wine has been perennial request. When the Co-op last sold beer in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were no memorable objections. Today, in this century, we expect those Owners who are committed to supporting other sellers (Star Liquor, the BP gas station, Underground Meats, Jenifer Street Market, Barriques, Festival Foods) will continue to do so, and keep our local economy strong and diverse. 

We remain engaged in the process of applying for a license to sell beer, wine and cider, which was considered and approved by the City of Madison’s Alcohol License Review Committee at their October meeting, the decision will then go to the Common Council. At the time of printing this issue of the Reader, the final decision of the Common Council is yet unknown. We will keep you posted about the process.

Special store hours and dates to think about

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23rd)—retails are open 7:30am–2:30pm to allow staff to enjoy time with their friends and family.

And on that note, in recognition of the daily commitment of our staff I offer this timely quote from William Arthur Ward to express some of what a privilege it is to serve you and the rewards reaped from doing so.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

agraceulla