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Location of second Willy St. Co-op?

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Location of second Willy St. Co-op?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:01 pm

Willy St. Co-op eyes second site

The co-op is mum about their second store, as negotiations progress. So does anyone have a guess, or a wish, for the new site? Monroe Commons didn't work out; neither did Sherman Plaza. Maybe Middleton.
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Re: Location of second Willy St. Co-op?

Postby spanky » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:08 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Willy St. Co-op eyes second site

The co-op is mum about their second store, as negotiations progress. So does anyone have a guess, or a wish, for the new site? Monroe Commons didn't work out; neither did Sherman Plaza. Maybe Middleton.


My hope is that is on west side of the Capitol downtownish. They (we) were looking at Metropolitan Place and Capitol West for a while but I'm pretty sure neither of those are in the running any longer.
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Postby mrak » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:14 pm

It would be wildly impractical for them to add a second east-side location only a mile or so from their present store.

But you asked for wishes, and I wish for Union Corners.
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Postby Slick Willy » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:20 pm

Well, I would have said Monroe St, since I've always seen it as a west side version of Williamson St, but that wouldn't work with Trader Joe's & Regent Co-op being there already. It couldn't be anywhere near Whole Foods - too much competition. Whole Foods moving into the Hilldale Mall pushes it closer to Middleton. That doesn't mean there isn't potential for a Willy St Co-op in Middleton, just makes things a little trickier is all. The further east you go in Madison, the less bohemian/eclectic the people are, which wouldn't bode well for a new location.

What would you guys think of it going somewhere between Verona & Fitchburg?
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Postby fennel » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:38 pm

Slick Willy wrote:Well, I would have said Monroe St, since I've always seen it as a west side version of Williamson St, but that wouldn't work with Trader Joe's & Regent Co-op being there already. It couldn't be anywhere near Whole Foods - too much competition.


I disagree. That could be a draw if it were near Trailer Joe's. They have only a limited range of things worth buying, but those are really worth buying. Having a nearby coop to get the bulk of one's victuals would be very nice. Gotta have parking, though.

And The Food Hole? [shudder] I just can't shop there. Every time I walk in there I have a vision of Ted Haggerty's plastic smile: "We're all about shareholder value, team member."
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Postby dstol62 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:21 am

The location will be tied into their mission to serve many different parts of the community. At the risk of throwing up a straw dog, there has been much discussion about the co-op's seeming interest in serving the near east side double income demographic. My belief is that there are items at the current location that meet everyone's budget, but it will have to be determined if a second location will cater to that philosophy. If they decide on the west side, their deli case will need a complete re-think from the ground up (including the addition of a meat case).
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Postby sydgrl » Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:37 am

If they decide on the west side, their deli case will need a complete re-think from the ground up (including the addition of a meat case).


Do you mean an "additional" meat case? Because they already have one. I know plenty of west siders, including myself, who make the trek to the east side to shop weekly. Despite the stereotype, not everyone who lives on the west side is a "conserative" who would bristle at the coop's philosophy. I honestly think Willy St. would have plenty of customers from the west side without any changes.
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Postby Marvell » Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:37 pm

Slick Willy wrote:It couldn't be anywhere near Whole Foods - too much competition. Whole Foods moving into the Hilldale Mall pushes it closer to Middleton. That doesn't mean there isn't potential for a Willy St Co-op in Middleton, just makes things a little trickier is all. The further east you go in Madison, the less bohemian/eclectic the people are, which wouldn't bode well for a new location.


I don't know how bohemian/eclectic the Coop clientÚle is these days - seems to be pretty much the same demographics as the population at large.

Natural foods have definitely become mainstream.

As for locating close to Whole Foods, that would be an ironic switch on the usual Whole Foods business model based on moving into cities where there is an established co-op or natural foods store and putting them out of business.

It's great to think about a west side Willy Street putting Whole Foods out of business, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

PS - I had some Whole Foods tonic water the other day. It sucked.
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Postby jjoyce » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:10 pm

Marvell wrote:I had some Whole Foods tonic water the other day. It sucked.


Jim's Journal flashback.
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Postby universitylad » Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:31 pm

It seems the timing would be right for a spot in Phase II of Metropolitan Place. That building is nearly done and the Mifflin Street Coop has just died. There will be parking in the ramp behind the store and it would be good complement to Cap. Center Foods. Students and downtown residents could get inexpensive staples at Cap Center and nice produce and meat at Willy Street Coop.

That's where I'm placing my bet.
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Postby equuspower » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:39 pm

I'm not sure that the co-op is going for a Madison location. I think there's been some speculation that they may go out of town - perhaps Stoughton?

and nice produce and meat at Willy Street Coop.


They do have nice produce, probably some of the best in Madison. AND, they have a great cheese section. But there is a need for improvement in the meat section. It would be good if they actually had a butcher department, not just prewrapped meat. Since I only eat organically raised meat (and I don't mean Bell & Evens chickens), I've been very disappointed to find that what little beef they have is not organic but extremely expensive. ($24 for a small chuck roast!) The organic pork and chicken (free range/organic) are all frozen. So I feel the meat section can use lots of improvements. Perhaps the new, second store will provide that.
Last edited by equuspower on Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby barney » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:57 pm

What about the current Whole Foods space? (Once they move to their fancier new digs in Hilldale?) Too close to Whole Foods / Magic Mill?
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Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:15 pm

barney wrote:What about the current Whole Foods space?

When Copp's bought out Kohl's, they abandoned the store in Sherman Plaza and kept it off the market to prevent competition. The storefront is still empty.

I wonder if Whole Foods will attempt to do the same, in order to keep the co-op out of their perceived market?
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Postby universitylad » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:36 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
barney wrote:What about the current Whole Foods space?

When Copp's bought out Kohl's, they abandoned the store in Sherman Plaza and kept it off the market to prevent competition. The storefront is still empty.

I wonder if Whole Foods will attempt to do the same, in order to keep the co-op out of their perceived market?


Is that legal anylonger? I vaguely recall some sort of "Grocery Store ordinance" being introduced by our city council after the north side was without a store for several years. Does anyone recall the details?
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Postby Ducatista » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:50 pm

universitylad wrote:Students and downtown residents could get inexpensive staples at Cap Center and nice produce and meat at Willy Street Coop.

There are no inexpensive staples at Crap Centre.

I'd be very happy if Willy St moved into Metropolitan Place.
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