Willy Street Co-op

Willy Street Co-op — a local, member-owned grocery cooperative — kicked off an owner bond drive on Jan. 15 to support the expansion of Willy Street Co-op West at 6825 University Ave., Middleton.

The co-op hopes to raise $600,000 by giving owners the opportunity to purchase bonds valued at $500 to $50,000. The bond drive is off to a strong start with $362,000 in bonds purchased during the first two weeks.

The owner bonds will be used to help pay for costs associated with expanding Willy Street Co-op West, including furniture, fixtures, equipment and professional services. Every purchase of an owner bond provides the co-op with a short-term loan, and in exchange those who purchase bonds help support both a local business and the local economy overall.

Willy Street Co-op has a history of owner support through successful bond drives, most recently raising $1.5 million in 2016 to help open its newest location on Madison's north side.

"Loaning the co-op money in support of our growth is a tradition going all the way back to 1974, when we used owner bonds to open our first location," said Co-op General Manager Anya Firszt.

People interested in purchasing a bond must schedule an appointment to do so, and co-op leadership is encouraging people to do this in the next few weeks. Though the drive is scheduled to be active until April 30, bond sales will be capped at $800,000.

All information regarding the bond drive and a tally of funds raised can be found on the Willy Street Co-op website at willystreet.coop.

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