Write Us!
We welcome your comments and give each one attention and serious consideration. Send them to or fill out a Customer Comment form in the Owner Resources area. 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!

Kids’ carts

Q: Hey! I like the kids’ carts. No one’s ever slammed into me before. When Iwas little I loved coming here and having my own little cart, and now my sister does. As long as children exist they will be kind of annoying. Why not let them have their fun? Perhaps some signs could be posted reminding parents and children to be careful.

A: A sign is a good idea! Thanks for the positive feedback. -Anya Firszt, General Manager

The wall of water
Q: Do we really sell so much Klarbrunn water that we have to have stacks and stacks of it? (Both bottles and cans!) It gives the aisles such a warehousey Woodman’s kind of feeling. Produce needs more room; can’t we have boxes of produce or something else using that space? I guess I’m surprised at what co-op shoppers drink...

A: Co-op shoppers do drink a lot of water. All of the Klarbrunn water sells extremely well. Produce also sells very well but for the sake of keeping traffic moving in that aisle (the gateway to the rest of the store) we intentionally merchandised very simple-to-select products along that wall. We also are able to stock the water quickly and get out of our customer’s way. This would not be true of produce with its need to be rotated and culled daily. Thanks. -Wynston Estis, Assistant Store Manager

Magazine request

Q: Hey. I’m surprised Willy doesn’t carry ODE magazine. It is a great progressive publication that contains articles about people having a positive impact in the world. It is a more feel-good version of Utne and, yes, please consider stocking it.

A: Great news! We’ve decided to bring this magazine back. It’s on the rack! Thanks! -Vanessa Tortolano, Book & Magazine Buyer

Clean belts
Q: Please remind all cashiers that their belts and food surfaces must stay clean. Spilled flour, polenta or other grains or nuts can be detrimental to the next customer whose products are exposed to these allergens!

A: Thank you for voicing your concern! Our cashiers do their best to balance efficiency at the register with cleanliness as many customers have issues with allergens and/or animal products. I have addressed this issue with my staff again but also encourage customers with concerns to ask their cashier to wipe down register surfaces. -Kristin Esselstrom, Front End Manager

Childhood cheese
Q: I’m so glad you’ve started to carry halloumi cheese. Thank you! My husband grew up in Cyprus and has been enjoying having a familiar treat from his childhood. Have you thought of carrying a domestic halloumi, though? It would require less transport miles and might even be cheaper. I know there is a cheesemaker in Michigan who makes it.

A: Thanks. We don’t have any knowledge of a domestic maker of halloumi but if you could send us the info on the maker in Michigan, we’ll see what we can do! Thanks again. -Dan Moore, Prepared Foods Manager

Yogurt sizes and prices
Q: Brown cow yogurt-size went from 8-oz to 6-oz but price stayed the same?

A: The Brown Cow cup did go from 8-oz to 6-oz and the price went down from 95¢ to 85¢. Thanks. -Matt Hofstede, Grocery Supervisor

Half and half in glass bottles
Q: Could you carry half and half in returnable glass bottles by local dairy Crystal Ball Farms (I think). Jenifer St. Mkt. carries it. I’d like my morning coffee to be totally eco-positive. And I can’t own a cow! Thanks!

A: I will look into the logistics of this endeavor. I have a few concerns to consider as well:

1. The bottles and crates, even just for the creamer, consume constant storage space in the dairy cooler, Front End and in our backstock.
2. One product from any brand often leads to customer demand for more products from said brand.
3. Would just the cream be fine?

Thanks for writing! Check back for more developments or ask for me at Customer Service. -Matt Hofstede, Grocery Supervisor

Scooping mushrooms

Q: Why not tie a large scoop with a long string with the mushrooms? It would make it easier to get the mushrooms and be more sanitary.

A: Due to the delicate nature of mushrooms, the scoop tends to do too much damage. Tongs might work better, so we’ll give them a try. If you are concerned about contamination, try the packaged buttons. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager

Freshly-ground chunky peanut butter

Q: I live 50 miles away and love shopping at the Co-op. I am missing the chunky peanut butter machine. I have heard it is broken and the replacement is very expensive. Here is my voice to put it in the budget soon!

A: Thanks for casting your vote. We are ordering a new one this week. Now we wait for the 4-6 week shipping timeline. Hopefully it will come in sooner than that. -Wynston Estis, Assistant Store Manager

Organic vs. organic
Q: I’m reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma right now, which is a great book. I’ve just read about something I knew, but didn’t know, if you take my meaning. Is there any way to tell organic from organic? That is, some organic is factory-farmed and some is not. Is there a way to tell the difference? Thanks!

A: Gosh, I guess knowing your grower is about the strongest recommendation I can make. We strive to keep you informed on every local producer we carry in that pursuit. Reading labels/checking for location is my own guide when trying to decide on my purchases. -Lynn Olson, Cooperative Services Manager

Correction/Addition
What about bussing to the Co-op?

Several members called and wrote about last month’s Operations News article Parking at the Co-op (willystreet.coop/Newsletter/Newsletter_Archive/0702/operations.html) to suggest riding the bus to the Co-op. Routes 3, 4, 37, and 38 conveniently serve the Co-op. The nearest bus stops are right past our back yard on Jenifer Street. Undoubtedly, even many car owners could save money and bring convenience to their shopping experience by using Madison’s bus system. Shafer Pharmacy sells bus passes right next door and lots more information is available at http://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/.

= A fulfilled member request