Happy Fall Willy Street Co-op Owners! I hope your pencils are sharpened and your backpacks are filled with nourishing treats, whether you’re going back to school or back to work. We have plenty of local foods to help you get the most out of these increasingly crisp days, as September is Eat Local Month! Keep an eye out for special local promotions throughout the store as we celebrate our incredible local producers and the bounty that they create!
Finishing off our 40th Year
This is the last month of Willy Street Co-op’s 40th year! It’s been quite a year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what our 41st will bring.
Community Shares of Wisconsin
Community Shares of Wisconsin is a social justice fund, supporting nearly 70 nonprofits in Dane County that work for systemic change. Each year CSW has an awards event to honor some individuals from their member groups.
Willy Street Co-op is this year’s award sponsor of the Liesl Blockstein Community Leadership Award, and had the distinct honor of introducing the winner, M Adams. M is the Co-Executive Director of Freedom, Inc., and the Co-Founder of Young, Gifted and Black Coalition. Please join us in congratulating M for all the work she has done in our community.
Principle 6: Cooperative among cooperatives
Cooperatives operate according to seven basic principles. Six were drafted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1966, based on guidelines written by the founders of the modern cooperative movement in England in 1844. In 1995, the ICA restated, expanded and adopted the 1966 principles to guide cooperative organizations into the 21st century. Here are some updates on how we are embodying Principle 6: Cooperation Among Cooperatives.
Baraboo Food Co-op
We’re happy to share an update from our friends in Baraboo!
“After two years of development, the Baraboo Co-op has begun the first phase ofits membership drive enrolling almost 100 people as a start—please see www.baraboo.coop for registration!
“The Baraboo News Republic published two articles on the development and growth of the Co-op and is planning a third! As we all know, there is still much work to be done but we remain committed to bringing the Baraboo Co-op to fruition! We still have 500 Friends of the Baraboo Co-op and many regional folks who are still unaware of what we are doing! So our work is cut out for us! More to come!”
Allied Community Co-op
We are still working with Allied Community Co-op in their pursuit of a cooperatively owned healthy corner store in the Allied neighborhood. We have been participating in their board meetings and working with the UW Center for Cooperatives to consult on what it takes to build ownership capacity and to open a store. City staff are currently developing a report on our response to their request for proposals to open a store, and later this year, the City Council will vote on whether the City will provide funding to Allied Community Cooperative’s project. We will continue to keep you updated as we find out more.
In August we wrapped up the final phase of our reset work at Willy East, and I am happy to report that it seems to be a great success! Feedback from staff and Owners alike has been uniformly positive. Many thanks to all the staff involved. We will take the lessons learned at East and apply them as we look to reset portions of Willy West later this year.
Concrete Work Delayed
As I mentioned in last month’s report, we had planned on doing some repair work on the concrete slabs outside of Willy East’s entrance in mid-August. As the scope of the project became clear, East retail staff raised some very thoughtful concerns. As a result, we have delayed that work to next spring. We also learned our warranty will still cover the cost of the work, so it is a rare but true win-win scenario!
New Public Art Spaces at Willy East—delayed
Update from last month: we received approval from the City through the MNA Arts & Culture Mural Project Initiative to beautify three exterior walls at Willy East: the fire station side of the property (where our current mural resides), Jenifer Street side of the property and the wall by our loading dock.
A community mosaic, led by artist Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, planned for August, has been delayed to later in the early fall. Keep an eye in store and online for opportunities to participate in the creation of this new piece of neighborhood art!
October is National Co-op Month and our time to appreciate each other. After all, this is YOUR Co-op, and it’s your pride, your loyalty, and your local investment that makes your store a success. One way you can demonstrate your pride is by participating in our Equity Drive by investing fully in your Fair Share. During that month new Owners and all Owners who pay down equity on their Ownerships will have the administrative fees waived. Previous Owners who were already paid-in-full as well as all Owners who pay-in-full their Fair Share this October will be entered in a drawing to win a coupon book for one free sandwich or smoothie every month for a full year. Your Fair Share is your investment in your Co-op, and when our Owners fully invest, you are better positioning your Co-op to invest in the projects that will make your Co-op even better. Paying your Fair Sharein-full helps you and helps your Co-op. Help us celebrate National Co-op Month by showing your loyalty and investing in our widespread support of the Madison community and beyond. Many Owners are already fully invested and we appreciate your support! Thank you!