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East Remodel News; Our 40th Anniversary; Black Earth Meats & More

September this year is full of newness—a newly remodeled Willy East, new Board members, and a soon-to-be-announced new Director of Operations. In preparation for fall (and the Co-op’s 40th Anniversary) we’ve turned over some new leaves—more about each of them below!

East Grand Re-opening
I am so very pleased that construction is done and Willy East looks beautiful. Our Grand Re-Opening will take place on September 12th through the 14th, featuring live music, lots of great samples, prizes and much more! Please come by and celebrate.

Golden Hammer Awards
Speaking of that remodel, I have a few Golden Hammer Awards to hand out. Golden Hammers are given to those without whom the remodel would not have been successful.

Phil Ward, Wynston Estis, Dan Frost
Phil Ward, our Project Manager; Wynston Estis, our Operations Manager; and Dan Frost, our Willy East Store Manager all kept tabs on the many moving pieces and made sure this project moved forward as smoothly as possible. Many, many thanks to them all! Phil is also officially retiring after this project. Bon Voyage, Phil! We will miss you.  

East Remodel Project Team
This varied group of people met for more hours than I care to recall to make sure the right decisions were made, to figure out how to keep the store open and shoppable throughout the vast majority of construction, and troubleshoot any issues that came up along the way. Thank you for your careful attention, patience and flexibility!

Vogel Brothers
When we put out our call for general contractor proposals we had some very strong applicants. We made the right choice in selecting Vogel. They have been great to work with and more than willing to meet some of our more specific needs. Many thanks!

Willy East Staff
The staff at East put their best and most flexible foot forward throughout this remodel project. From staffing change-ups, unpleasant byproducts of construction (including noise, smells, temperature issues), ever shifting floor plan, and constant change, these individuals came to work each day and gave it their best. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each and every one of you!

Welcome New Board Members
We had an election in August that resulted in the election of three new Board members. Congratulations to Holly Bender, Mike Martez Johnson, and Miguel Zamora. I look forward to working with you and the rest of the Board on some of the exciting work we have ahead of us.

40th Anniversary Coming Up!
Next month the Willy Street Co-op turns 40—WOW! If you have any old photos or other historical goodies from the Co-op throughout the past four decades, we would love to see them! Contact Brendon Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any contributions, or drop them off at the Customer Service desk at either store. If you do drop something off and you would like it returned to you, please include your address and phone number.

Zero Waste Annual meeting & Party
This was our second year working with Paolo Verde Event Logistics toward a Zero Waste AMP. Thanks to the tireless efforts of their “Trash Talker” volunteers, only FIVE POUNDS of waste went to the landfill!

On Another Note…
I am very sorry to share (if you haven’t heard already) about the closure of Black Earth Meats. Black Earth Meats is one of the few certified organic, animal welfare-approved slaughterhouses in the Midwest. Many of our local farmers utilize this facility, and its closure leaves a large hole in our local food system. I wish them luck in locating a new facility soon, and being back up and running in the near future!
WaterduEastside Veterinary ClincHuntington Learning CenterDr Ingo Mahn

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