Willy St. Co-op votes to expand to north side location

Willy St. Co-op votes to expand to north side location

The Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors has voted to support the opening of a third store on Madison’s north side later this year.

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 Northside location this summer, then host an official grand opening event which is tentatively scheduled for September, 2016,” co-op Communications Director Brendon Smith said.

Local leaders on the northside approached the Willy Street Co-op about developing a third store after they learned the lease of the present grocery store would end in 2016.

Co-op leaders decided to investigate further, even though a number of grocery stores have not succeeded in that space in the past.

“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.

Now, co-op leaders hope to get north side residents involved in developing what type of store they would like to see in that space.

“The co-op will now be holding a series of meetings throughout the Northside,” Co-op General Manager Anya 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.