Local grocery cooperative Willy Street Co-op has announced that its board of directors has voted to support opening a new, third location on Madison’s north side.
The new location would be opened at 2817 N. Sherman Avenue, the present site of Pierce’s Northside Market.
“Willy Street Co-op is already aiming to quickly open the door at its north side location this summer, then host an official grand opening event which is tentatively scheduled for September 2016,” co-op Communications Director Brendon Smith said.
In September of 2015, the Northside Planning Council (NPC) learned the lease at Pierce’s Northside Market would end in 2016. The NPC met with several community leaders and Alder Rebecca Kemble to research the possibility of opening a grocery cooperative. It was during those exploratory stages last fall, that NPC approached Willy Street Co-op, already a popular, established neighborhood food cooperative carrying organic, local and conventional products.
Following several rounds of discussions between the NPC and the co-op, including a concern the north side could be without access to a nearby food store, Willy Street Co-op decided to investigate the option of opening its third store in that neighborhood.
“This location is conveniently located for some of our owners, and it has the features we require for a store — it’s in a residential neighborhood, it’s accessible by foot, by bike, bus or car, and there’s a need for a grocery store in the area,” Smith said.
Co-op owners and the north side community were involved throughout the entire process, co-op General Manager Anya Firszt said.
“The co-op will now be holding a series of meetings throughout the north side,” Firszt said. “We are planning to announce an owner bond drive with a goal of raising $1.5 million, along with sharing what we are planning inside the store, asking customers what kind of products they’d like to see, and answering any questions. We look forward to being an active part of the north side neighborhood.”