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!
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!

Bulk sunflower oil

Q: Thanks for carrying organic sunflower oil in bulk. It’s so expensive in prepack that I haven’t bought it but will now. Is a good alternative to non-organic canola oil.

A: Thanks you for your comment. We are glad to hear you enjoy the new oil in bulk. Driftless Organics Sunflower Oil is a healthy alternative to other oils and, best of all, it is organic and local! –Mike Schmidt, Grocery Manager–West

Serious delay

Q: It has come to my attention that there is a SERIOUS delay in the delivery of my Willy Street Reader. 

As a long-time coop member, I look forward to and have come to rely on receiving monthly updates, news, and recipes from the coop. You can imagine how shocked I was to learn that there is a serious discrepancy between the delivery times for Madison residents and those of us who now reside outside of the Madison area. I moved to Tallahassee in 2003, and although my Reader continues to arrive monthly, I was dismayed to learn from a dear friend in Madison that his Reader often arrives a week or more before mine does!! Not only does this make us Madison ex-pats feel like second-class coop citizens, but it means that when touching base with old friends I’m not up to date on the most recent news. Can you please ensure that the Reader arrives in a more timely manner? If the Republican Sequester is impacting the US Postal Service so that they can’t ensure prompt delivery, maybe the coop should explore the use of an alternative carrier!!!

A: Thanks for your email. We send the Reader out bulk mail through the USPS. To do it any other way would make it unaffordable for us to continue sending it. We send the Reader the last week of each month, targeting local mailboxes on the first. People outside of the Madison area, unfortunately, often have to wait longer. In the meantime, you can access the contents of the Reader on our website before you get your paper copy. You can find it here: www.willystreet.coop/digest/reader-editions. You can also contact your local post office directly if you feel they aren’t delivering your mail in a timely manner. You can also get the Reader via email. You can do this by registering your email on your Owner account by emailing t.urich@willystreet.coop or calling Tamara, our Owner Records Administrator, at (608) 251-0884 x734 with your full name and Owner number (you can also stop by Customer Service if you’re in town). Then you can go to: www.willystreet.coop/activating-your-co-op-web-account and choose to receive it via email. Thanks again for your comment! -Liz Wermcrantz, Editor

Banana sales

Q: I’m a very faithful coop member, but I don’t care for the change with banana sales. It seems one must now purchase bananas in 2 pound packages. For a family of two, this will be such a waste for us that I will need to start shopping for at least bananas at a regular grocery. I don’t mind paying the premium for organic bananas, but if I have to throw them out because I can’t use them, I will need to go back to visiting Trader Joe’s again and paying the per banana price. Is the coop becoming another Costco?

A: Thanks for your comment! I’m very sorry you had a negative experience with our bananas. Because of a supply disruption, we were been forced to substitute organic, non-Fair Trade bananas from Del Monte this weekend instead of our regular, organic Fair Trade bananas. The Del Monte product comes banded in 2lb bunches, but you are definitely welcome to un-band them and purchase a smaller amount if you wish. Next time we’ll be sure to post some signage to this effect so there’s no confusion. 

We are now back into our regular Fair Trade, Organic, non-banded bananas, and we should have them in stock regularly from here on out. It’s rare that we have to substitute the banded bananas—we really only carry them when we have no other options available to us.

Just as an FYI, for anything that’s sold by the pound in the produce department, you are welcome to purchase smaller amounts than what’s banded or bunched together. Many people break up celery stalks or take partial bunches of broccoli, or partial bags of grapes. We’re even happy to cut some of the larger veggies like cabbage or cauliflower if you only want half a head.

Also, if you ever run into issues like this one, feel free to ask a produce staff member or Customer Service representative for help—we’re glad to answer any questions or concerns you may have! Thanks again for the comment! -Megan Blodgett-Minnick, Produce Manager–West

Sour cream ingredients

Q: I enjoyed my first visit to the Willy St. West Deli yesterday. The staff was fantastic and the selection great. My food was prepared well and delicious. 

I love that the Pesto Walnut Feta Pasta Salad is made from wheat-free pasta—what a treat! In reading the other ingredients, the sour cream used has several less than nutritious and unnecessary ingredients...it would be great if you used a brand of sour cream with just cultured cream as the only ingredient. Just a suggestion.Thanks!

A: Thanks for your compliments! We appreciate it. We source the sour cream from Westby Creamery Dairy Cooperative in Westby, WI, which is farmer-owned and uses all Rbst free (Recombinant bovine somatotropin) (and some organic) milk in their production. We were aware of the additives in the product when we decided to bring it in, but felt all the other factors in favor of the company justified bringing it in regardless. I’ll be happy to pass along to Westby that we got this feedback asking for a clean product. -Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director

Ambrosia apples

Q: What happened to the Ambrosia apples?

A: Hello! Ambrosia apples are a variety that unfortunately isn’t available year-round. We get them when we can, which is usually early November through May! Thanks! –Megan Blodgett-Minnick, Produce Manager–West

Black earth meatS

Q: My wife and I noticed that you are carrying less of the Black Earth Meats beef and were wondering why? We came to the Co-op to purchase beef stir-fry meat on the day Black Earth shipments come in and it was gone already. We really love Black Earth Meats and are sad and frustrated with the lack of other options available. 

A: We used to carry both grass fed and organic cuts and ground from Black Earth. Approximately a year ago, we started butchering our own local grass fed beef. We continued to order the Black Earth grassfed ground, however, because we could not keep up with the demand. We recently sourced a new vendor for our organic cuts and grinds mainly due to availability of organic beef from Wisconsin. Black Earth was not able to provide us with the organic beef on a consistent basis. Many of our Owners were also requesting 100% grassfed organic. Black Earth Organic was a grass and grain diet. We tried to find a vendor that could. 1. Provide us with product on a consistent basis; 2. 100% grassfed; 3. Ideally local. Unfortunately we could not find anyone who fit the bill. We weighted our options and decided to go with Fresh Source. Fresh Source works with many small farms in the U.S. mainly on the West coast in Oregon. 

In regards to the stir-fry meat, we do still carry the Black Earth stir-fry meat because Fresh Source does not offer it as an option. However, due to Black Earth availability of organic beef, we often don’t have it on our shelves, only the grassfed options. Best, Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East

Service dogs

Q: There is a non-service dog in the Co-op right now. Food Safety?

A: Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this issue. We are legally required to allow service dogs in the Co-op and these are the only animals allowed in the store. If someone does bring a concern to us about a dog in the building and it is not clearly designated as a service dog, we can only make limited inquiries; we can ask the customer if the dog is a service animal required because of a disability. However, we cannot require any further documentation. I encourage you in the future to bring these concerns to the Customer Service desk; they can inform a Manager on Duty who can follow up on the situation as needed. -Kristen Esselstrom, Assistant Store Manager–East

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