The press release is pretty good so I'll just post that here.

There is no mention, however, of the Metropolitan Place fiasco that cost the co-op $750,000 and whether a 2nd location might still be pending.


A bread delivery at Willy Street Co-op does not look like one might expect. Twice a week 85 year-old Dolores Kamm hand delivers the bread she makes. Although she has not been a Willy Street vendor for the Co-op's entire 35-year history, she has been there for 33 of them.

This month the Co-op celebrates three and one-half decades thanks to local farmers, producers and suppliers such as Dolores Kamm.

When the Co-op first opened in a tiny store on Williamson Street in 1974 there was room for very little, including the bread Dolores and her sisters offered. Today Dolores remembers how thrilled they were when the Co-opfound them at the Dane County Farmer's Market in 1976.

"That was the beginning. Now I bake and deliver less, but I can't imagine not going to he Co-op," Kamm said. "I told this guy Dean just recently that it is the Co-op people that keep me coming back. I'm not much of a gadabout and delivering to the Co-op is like coming home for me. I retired once but it only lasted over the winter."

Like Dolores, Steve Pincus, Owner of Tipi Produce, began providing food to the Co-op in the 1970s.

"It is like we grew up together," said Pincus. "Then about 15 years ago the produce manager said they needed a local farmer that could handle the increased demand for carrots. We already had a pretty good business, very good carrots and not much cash."

Pincus explains that a $1,000 loan from the Co-op really launched them into the carrot business. In the first year they grew 5,000 pounds of carrots and today grow 20 times that number. Pincus believes that because the "produce manager is picky and is always looking for high quality, it makes all of us better."

Local vendors need buyers and that is where the 16,000 Co-op Owners come in. Co-op Owners have come to expect the freshest and best local products year around. That is why product sampling will be part of the celebration during Owner Appreciation Weekend, October 16-18.

"We have a thriving Co-op today because we have always had active, committed Owners and the very best local vendors," notes Anya Firszt, Co-op General Manager. "Just think...when the Co-op first opened Nixon was president, Brett Favre was 5 years-old and cars were still allowed on State Street. Clearly 35 years in business is something to celebrate."