December 2006

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Customer Comments

General Manager's Report

Board Report: Willy Street Co-op Membership:
Current to Future

Deli News

Grocery News

Juice Bar News

Health & Wellness News

Book & Housewares News

Specials Information

Off-Site Kitchen News

Producer Profile: Bali & Soul

Picky, Picky, Picky

Recipes & Drink Recommendations


Community Calendar


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Customer Comments

Other ways to shop the Co-op

Q: Hi. Just wanted to put my vote in for online ordering. There are advantages & disadvantages to both online & in-store shopping. For this email, I’ll give my .02 on advantages for online.
1) Traffic & parking at the co-op can be a problem, especially when it would be most convenient for me to drive there to shop (5 pm).
2) I’ve just had hip surgery and can’t drive or walk long distances. It would be nice to view product details online. I haven’t used your phone or email delivery system but I don’t have enough knowledge of the products to order “blind.”
3) I was at Meriter Retirement Center for 5 days rehabbing from hip surgery. There was another patient there from California and un-
familiar with the area’s health food stores & restaurants. We were able to use the computer in the library and he would have been able to order healthy foods to help him heal both physically & spiritually. He couldn’t wait to get home because he was unable to purchase healthy foods or meals within his very vegan parameters.
4) I order online with Sentry and LOVE it! If the co-op had the capability I would do a majority of my shopping with the coop.
I would love to see online ordering with delivery. Thanks.

A: On October 20th, I received the above email from you—as did the others members of a small working group that is working on a proposed eCommerce program for the Co-op—I decided to answer your email and will report to the others.
The group originally formed two-and-a-half years ago to discuss a means to increase sales without necessarily increasing the size of the building or number of parking stalls—home delivery and eCommerce were potential solutions to decreasing stress in the existing parking lot and serving members unable/unwilling to drive.

The eCommerce piece of the program has taken much longer to develop than first anticipated, but we do have, as you have noted, a Home Delivery program currently operating on Tuesday and Saturday. The two people currently assigned to the Home Delivery program are very familiar with our products and possible solutions/substitutes to fill your grocery list even if you are not completely familiar with our product selection. Either person (Becca or Kelly) taking the order can walk you through the list with a degree of ease. Special dietary needs (vegan, for example) are an area we have familiarity with and can recommend products to suit the specific need.

Until the eCommerce program is an option, please consider at least calling and placing an initial order to determine if that could fill the gap between now and when online purchasing is up and running. The estimated timeline for this work to be completed is late spring to early summer 2007.

I appreciate hearing that you would support this type of buying—we know that has the potential to decrease the stress in the parking lot, offer goods and services to those that cannot travel to the store, and grow sales without changing the footprint of the building.
Thank you for your comments. -Anya Firszt, General Manager

Delicious Deli food

Q: The Tomatoes Rockefeller in the deli case today was AWESOME! Thank you!

A: Thanks for the feedback. I am passing this along to Joel Carlson, the cook responsible for both creating and executing the dish you enjoyed. -Josh Perkins, OSK Manager

Frozen product suggestion

Q: Any chance you could start carrying the Moosewood Restaurant frozen dinners? They’re yummy and less salty than most. Thanks.

A: Thanks for bringing this company to my attention. We are looking to add more low sodium meals and we will consider your brand recommendation. Sincerely, Matt Hofstede, Grocery Supervisor.

Inulin-free kefir

Q: Is it possible to get kefir without inulin in it. I remember you used to have several varieties—but that was several years ago. The inulin gives it a funny taste. Unsweetened is best.

A: We used to carry Lifeway Kefir and that didn’t have inulin/FOS. It’s still possible for us to get these products, but the sales of the brand dwindled so we stopped offering it. We could special order a case of your favorite flavor if you’re interested. Unfortunately, at this time we don’t have plans to bring back Lifeway or get another kefir brand. Thank you for expressing your concerns. -Matt Hofstede, Grocery Supervisor

Wisconsin apples

Q: Why not more apples from WI. That’s a lot of gas used to send them from New Zealand.

A: We currently carry six varieties of WI grown apples; the remainder are from the Pacific Northwest. Finding WI growers who can meet our volume needs has been difficult! The two biggest organic orchards have gone out of business or downsized. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager

Gluten-free bread

Q: Is it possible to carry more gluten-free foods? I found a really good gluten-free bread at the Outpost in Milwaukee. The brand name is Glutino. Can we carry this line?

A: Thanks for sharing your experience and product suggestion with me. I will look into this brand of products. We strive to offer a diverse selection of breads for everyone’s needs and desires. Your feedback helps. Sincerely, Matt Hofstede, Grocery Supervisor

Thank you

Q: We’ve seen Trader Joe’s and, again, it makes us appreciate everything you (sensibly) do and how blessed we are!

A: Thank you! Thank you! -Anya Firszt, General Manager

Shopping for someone else

Q: I recently was very ill for several months. I was unable to do my own shopping. Is it possible for the Co-op to create a policy so that someone else can temporarily use someone else’s membership to do their shopping? This would be so appreciated. Thank you.

A: Yes, it is possible. Give us a call and let me or Customer Service know who will be shopping for you so we can temporarily add their name to your membership, and then if you could let us know when that stops so we can remove them again it would be appreciated. Thanks for asking. -Becca Schill, Front End Manager

Beautiful bulletin boards

Q: Somebody does a nice job of keeping the bulletin boards cleaned up and in shape. Thanks!

A: Thank you! We rely heavily on Owner Participants to keep up with this heavy volume job—I’ll share your praise with the gentleman who’s currently keeping this together. Thanks. -Lynn Olson, Cooperative Services Manager