Willy North op-ened its doors on August 15th, less than a year after our initial conversation with the Northside Planning Council about such a notion, and we hit the ground running. This was our soft opening, so there is still much to do.
The punch list of things still to be done is made, and we are tackling items on a daily basis in preparation for the Grand Opening celebration on September 23rd–25th.
I was recently asked why the work on the facade and outdoor seating area was not done yet, and we decided to stage our work and focus on the interior space first to be in the position to sell groceries sooner than later, then move to the exterior.
Our WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program certification for Willy North is still a work in progress. We hope that we can offer this service there by September 23rd, provided we can work out the many unexpected kinks we’ve encountered. Signage is another need throughout the store. Stay tuned for these items to be completed in the coming weeks.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our project team, our project partners, and you, our Owners, for making Willy North a reality. Our construction team included Aro Eberle Architects, Black Fine Woodworking, Commercial Air Inc., Culligan Total Water Treatment Systems Inc., Electric Construction Inc., Hillcraft, Hooper Corporation, Huffman Facility Development, Sergenian’s, Services Inc., ServiceMaster, Vital Signs, and Vogel Brothers Building Co.
Our vendor partners who helped with product selection and shelf sets include Amy’s Kitchen, Certco Inc., General Beverage, J and J Distributing, Maximum Marketing, Nature’s Path, Presence, Signature Sales and Marketing, and United Natural Foods Inc. Our community partners include City of Madison Healthy Retail Program, Northside Grocery Shuttle, and Northside Planning Council.
And finally, a huge shout out to our staff! Were it not for their rock solid performance at Willy East and Willy West, the Production Kitchen, the Central Officeand, of course, the new North staff—none of this would be possible.
Please take a moment to think about what we have achieved in a relatively short amount of time (by Co-op standards) and I hope you too can feel the same sense of pride and accomplishment I do. We did it!
The Grand Opening Celebration
Willy North Ribbon Cutting is scheduled for Friday, September 23rd with festivities planned throughout the weekend. Come in for department Flash Sales (15% off all products in an entire department!), giveaways, enter to win gift cards, live music, free samples and much more!
Mural: Willy East
Willy Street Co-op has again partnered with the Marquette Neighborhood Association for the purpose of a mural installation at our East location. Earlier this summer artists were asked to submit proposals for review and consideration for the Jenifer Street side of our building. We have received seven entries that will be displayed in the Willy East Community Room beginning on September 2nd. You are invited to cast a vote in person or online between September 2nd–15th, with the final selection to be announced on September 19th.
Board of Directors calendar
At the August Board of Directors meeting it was decided that the frequency of Board meetings would be changed from monthly to every six weeks, reducing the number of meetings from 12 per year to eight. The motivation for this shift was the recommendation of Board member Dave Pauly, who sees this change as a way to reduce the amount of Co-op resources being expended on meetings by reducing the staff hours committed to preparing for these sessions. The reduced meeting schedule should also produce a number of other benefits including a more conducive alignment of Board decisions with the fiscal calendar, as well as allowing for more productive Board meetings with fuller agendas, and more time for Board members to thoroughly prepare and focus on their reporting duties. While the change means that the Board will gather less frequently, their minimum six meetings per year obligation will still be fulfilled and special meetings may be called when necessary.
See their new meeting schedule on page 2 of this issue.