Coffee shop owner fights for windsock
Business cited for violating sign ordinance
MADISON, Wis. — If you’ve driven down South Park Street in the last decade, you might have noticed the bright colored orange wind sock known as Wendy flapping in the wind on top of the Cargo Coffee shop, but after 13 years that could all change.
“She’s not distracting anyone, she’s not hurting anybody. She’s just hanging out doing her windsock thing,” said supporter Laurelyn Vanderhoop.
Cargo Coffee was cited after a city inspection for the windsock, which is in violation of the city’s sign code that prohibits any “attention-getting objects” that are designed to move in the wind. But for owner Lindsey Lee, Wendy is much more than just a fixture on the roof. She is a part of his business model.
“The mayor in particular doesn’t like signage. But for small independent businesses, signage is usually their only way of standing out among the larger national cooperate competitors,” Lee said.
Supporters rallied around Wendy Saturday to keep her dancing in the wind, while also bringing attention to a larger message to help local businesses thrive across the city.
“That’s what Madison is all about. It’s just being unique, having fun and being a community. I’d love it if when they have their kids, they bring them by to see Wendy the windsock. What could be more fun?” said supporter, Karl Duncan.
It’s a battle Lee and Wendy the windsock plan to continue fighting to help businesses keep their unique character and stand out from the crowd.
“There’s a lot of fun cool things going on on Park Street. Let’s not kill that. Let’s allow small local independent businesses to stand out if they want,” Lee said.
“I hope that people remember it and they know not to mess with small businesses because we fight back,” said Vanderhoop.