November 2004

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Customer Comments

GM Report

Board Report

Produce News: Babies, Squash and Specials

Juice Bar & Bakery News: Bakery Special Order Program

Health & Wellness News: Digestion Suggestions

Deli News: Winter Squash

Book News

Specials Information

2004 Donations

Recipes & Drink Recommendations

Gobbling without the Turkey

Baking Bread

Producer Profile: Lathrop Farms' Real Turkeys

Thanksgiving Shopping List

Community Calendar


Write Us! We welcome your comments and give each one attention and serious consideration. Send them to or fill out a Customer Comment form at the Customer Service desk. Each month a small selection is printed in The Reader. The rest can be found in the commons or in the binder near Customer Service. Thank you!

Kudos to Evan
Q: Dear Beloved Co-op:
It is rare that I write letters of this nature, but the extraordinary effort of one of your staff has prompted me into action. Evan, an employee in the bulk department, kindly responded to my request for a source of non-organic bulgur which is more suitable for making tabouli. He not only located the source, but also had a 10-pound bag waiting for me the next day. Perhaps his effort isn’t extraordinary by co-op standards, but it is, based on my grocery shopping experience. Kudos to Evan for a job well done. And while I’m at it, may I suggest that you stock non-organic bulgur which is much more substantial than the organic variety, and essential for making tabouli?

A: Thank you for reminding us that our people are our greatest asset. -Lynn Olson, Member Services Manager

Meat vs. veggies in the deli
Q: There was a time when the soup and salad bar was all vegan. But then the soups started to have dairy products (maybe they always did, but they didn’t have meat). Now today—2 meat soups. I don’t mind 1 meat soup, but can’t there be a veggie option also—especially on a cold rainy day like today.
A: Thanks for writing. Deli staff is directed to always have at least one vegetarian soup whenever possible. There are, however, occasions on which all we have left are 2 meat soups. Ideally this should never last for very long. The second meat soup is to be pulled and replaced as soon as a new veggie one is made. I will reinforce this with staff. Thanks. -Dan Moore, Deli Manager

Filtered water for sipping
Q: Why in the world doesn’t the Co-op have a dispenser for drinking water for customers—not the water fountain by the bathrooms but a place to drink filtered water for customers in the store? These things exist in many smaller, less successful, and less “progressive” businesses. Why not Willy St. Co-op?
A: Hello. Because of the difficulty in brining the line for R.O. (reverse osmosis) water to the front of the store, we only offer R.O. for drinking at the bulk aisle sink in the small separate faucet. We’re working on signage to be displayed at the water fountain to alert folks as to where they can get the other water while they’re shopping. -Lynn Olson, Member Services Manager

Sticker madness
Q: In the good old days stickers were not on the fruit. To me, the stickers look unnatural. Why are they on there? And, is it possible to buy from growers who don’t use stickers? I guess I’m just “old-fashioned.”
A: Well, you’re right. In the good old days there weren’t stickers on the produce. But things are a little different. Most retailers use international PLUs—that is the number on the stickers. Unless we are buying locally (which we do whenever we can), there isn’t any way around the sticker issue. I believe every apple we get from our distributor has stickers. Most growers use them especially larger West coast growers that supply us when we are unable to get the product locally. You’re not alone—other folks don’t like them either but unfortunately there just isn’t a way around it. -Jenny Ohlsen, Produce Manager

Credit card options and costs

Q: Please set up to accept American Express! We (you) are behind the eight ball here competitively. Can get 3% cash back with Am Express card on groceries!!
A: Wow—behind the times? The administrative fees associated with American Express are higher than with Visa and MasterCard. Currently, we pay 1.8% of each charge to our credit card clearing house. American Express is at 3-4%. We/I was trying to manage expense by not over-accepting (American Express and Discover). -Anya Firszt, General Manager

Cob wall praise
Q: The corner wall built behind the Co-op this summer really turned out well. It was obviously a lot of work. Thanks to all who worked on it especially those who shared their vision and expertise.
A: Thanks for your kind words of acknowledgement and hard work—those volunteers did a lovely job. -Anya Firszt, General Manager

Capon for Thanksgiving

Q: I’m on a bit of a quest and I’m hoping you can help me. My mother is gung-ho about having capon for Thanksgiving this year, and I’m fairly insistent that it be organic, or at least free run. As a Co-op member, is this something I can special order through the store? Do you know if an organic/free-range capon exists out there in the world of poultry marketing? Anything you could tell me would be helpful at this point.
A: We will have capons this holiday season, but they will not be organic or free-range. I’m not sure where anyone would find this item as we cannot find a source either. We will begin taking pre-orders for fresh turkeys on or near November 1st by calling customer service who can give you all the options available. We will have organic heirloom turkeys, organic broad-breasted white turkeys, conventionally fed, free-range heirloom turkeys and conventionally fed, free-range regular turkeys. As for everything else you would need, we should be able to accommodate anything else one would need to prepare a typical holiday meal. Let us know if there’s anything else we can help you find. -Lynn Olson, Member Services Manager