City Life, Madison WI, Mifflin Street Co-op, SHOPPING-Groceries, Willy Street Co-op

WhooooHoooo! Willy Street Co-op Coming To My Neighborhood!

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood today so I decided to go to Capitol Centre Foods and get myself some picnic type stuff and eat in the court yard. I’ve been feeling peckish for the past week so I haven’t been outside much and I haven’t even watched much television. Therefore I’ve sort of been out of the loop and had no idea that Willy Street Co-op has sealed the deal and is going to be moving into the Metropolitan Place retail space right across the street from Capitol Centre Foods at the corner of Broom and Mifflin Streets.

Finally, a grocery store of some size in the downtown area and one that concentrates on organics and locally produced products to boot. It won’t be opening until January though. Bummer… Oh well, I’ve waited this long, I can hold out until January. And my daughter will be pleased because she won’t have to drive through the isthmus to go to The Co-op when she comes to visit me. She can drop the Grandson off and go shop in peace.

It’s a pity Cap Centre didn’t get that space because I think having the Willy Street Co-op over there might drive them out. That would be a pity. I like Cap Centre. They give us quarters in exchange for a five dollar bill so we can do our laundry once a day. They sell stamps there, Metro Bus passes, and there is a Western Union there as well.

If those of us who live here at the Three Threes ask for a carry out, they will carry out all the way to our apartment door. The carry out guys are tickled to death to get a tip and usually say they don’t want a tip. But I insist because I want them to keep giving us that service with a smile from 9am to 9pm. It’s been great to have them right across the courtyard.

I would hate to see them driven out and I’m afraid a bigger store right across the street will do just that. But then again, maybe not. How many students are going to shop at Willy’s for a midnight nosh? Or go there to get cheap beer? They’re still going to be looking for their smack ramen noodles at 5 for a $1 and frozen pizzas 3 for $10.00.

Is Willy’s going to carry my cat’s fur ball cure Iams diet food at a reasonable price and am I going to be able to get Mrs. What-her-name’s frozen dinners at Willy’s? I think not. I doubt if they are going to have cheap generic laundry detergent either.

I bet Cap Centre evolves into something slightly different. Fewer fruits and vegetables maybe and more convenience foods and cleaning products but they’ll probably still be here come June of 2009 changing five dollar bills into quarters. I hope so anyway.

The Willy Street Co-op will replace the Mifflin Street Co-op which lived a few blocks west and died of neglect. They simply couldn’t or wouldn’t evolve and rise up out of their 60s hippie grungy roots and become the polished 21st century Yippies that places like Willy Street Co-op and Whole Earth Food Stores cater to. The store was quaint but dirty. The clerks had character but they were clueless.

I live 4 or 5 blocks from where the store was located and went there exactly four times because it wasn’t worth the walk. I went to Willy Street as often as I could–whenever my daughter was in town. They gave me a 15% discount because I’m disabled.

Another plus about having the Co-op right across the street (so to speak since the Three Threes pretty much eats up half of this whole block) is that we are the grateful recipients of Second Harvest largess for Cap Centre and other stores so I’m guessing that might also be true for the Co-op. I never have to buy a loaf of bread or bagels and I eat some mighty fancy bread and bagels. We also get more than enough sweet rolls and there are regular drop offs of fresh vegetables and fruits. The owners and managers of the grocery stores are mighty generous to us here at the Three Threes. Thank you.



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