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!

Meat and greet

Q: You know what might be really cute? If we gave the Customer Service desk a cute name—I was thinking we could call it the “Meet Department.” Don’t you think that if somebody came into the Co-op—new to town—not yet a Willy Street Member—and saw a sign that said “Meet Dept.,” wouldn’t they kind of say, “Aww...” and feel welcome? There might be some kind of confusion with the Meat Department, but I was thinking we could rename that the “Flesh-a-teria.”

A: Thanks for writing! As much as we like to think of ourselves as an innovative organization, I would have to agree with you that there may be some confusion between the “Meat” and “meet” departments. And, as much as we appreciate the idea, I think “Flesh-a-teria” sounds suspiciously like the name of a strip joint. Unfortunately, to avoid any confusion, we’ve decided to stick with the universally recognized term “Customer Service” (even though it doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi as your suggestions). On the bright side, we did install a friendlier, more welcoming sign above the desk this year. The Front End will continue to look for ways to make the service desk more inviting and fun. Thanks again! -Jesse Thurber, Asst. Front End Manager

Bring your own bag

Q: Why do customers get a few cents off for bringing their own reusable bag but not if they ask for no bag (e.g. for a small purchase)? What’s the difference environmentally? Consistent?

A: Thanks for writing. Our re-used bag incentive program started in the spring of 2005 as a way to encourage the use and reuse of existing bags, and to keep our supply costs low. The option of giving credit to customers not using a bag was discussed, however, it was felt that this would defeat the purpose of saving money on bags that customers would otherwise need to transport groceries home (currently, new paper bags cost us 10 cents a piece versus paying customers 5 cents for every paper bag they reuse). To make the incentive measurable, we instituted the following parameters: “A bag must be reasonably full before you can use a second one (e.g. to receive the credit). Purchases under $3.00 are not eligible for reimbursement.” While it might not always be the case, most small trans-actions would not fit in with either of these criteria, so for consistency’s sake, we require that customers’ purchases fall within these guidelines in addition to present a re-used bag. We continue to welcome any constructive feedback and suggestions on improving this incentive for the future. Thanks again! -Jesse Thurber, Asst. Front End Manager

Meat packaging

Q: I am not a fan of the way the sliced meat was packed for me today—all bunged up in the bag, with the top twisted—like a bag of garbage! Please have the deli pack it flat-much better for sandwiches. Thank you!

A: I’m sorry that your meat wasn’t packaged correctly. Standard Deli procedure is to pack it flat and fold the top over. I’ll make sure all Deli staff know this and do it correctly in the future. -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

Vegan delights

Q: Please bring back the Vegan Mango Apricot Cheesecake! It’s really good. Also, the Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cookie is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!

A: Thank you for your input. We had been taking a large bit of loss on the Vegan Mango Apricot Cheesecake despite its deliciousness. So as of now, we are not looking to bring it back. but if you are interested, the catering department might be able to make it for you as a special order. -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

Strawberry sizes

Q: You have stocked the half-sized strawberry container in the past. Can we bring those back?

A: They’ll be back! The industry packs the larger size container while supplies are plentiful. As soon as yields decrease, they will start packing into the 1-pint container, and prices will go up. Currently they are not available. Thanks! -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager

Thanks for the forks

Q: There have been metal forks available every time I’ve used the salad bar since I complained about how often there weren’t any. I very much appreciate the improvement!

A: Thanks for noticing! We’ve been making an effort to have metal silverware available all the time at the salad bar. It cuts down on waste and saves us money on plastic utensils in the long run. Thanks! -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

Cookie monster

Q: Every time I’ve come for the last two weeks, there are no Vegan Ch. Chip Cookies left. They are very yummy and I must have them. Please make more to keep up with the high demand. Thanks!

A: Thanks for the request! We try to keep a good mix of vegan and non-vegan cookies in stock, but the vegan chocolate chip isn’t always in the case. We’ll try to get it into the rotation a little more often. Thanks again! -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

Baker’s dozen

Q: How about a baker’s dozen on the cookies—such as mudslides that are not packed in bags. Thanks.

A: Great idea! We don’t always have every cookie flavor in stock, and this would be a great way to offer more variety and also give a bit of a price break on 13 cookies. I’ll work with the staff to make this happen. Thanks! -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

Black bean wraps

Q: If you can make Black Bean wraps for the Mallards, why can’t you make them for the deli? They are my favorite wraps and have been missing for months!

A: Thanks for the request. We’re in the process of adding these to our offerings. Look for them soon. Thanks! -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

Seeds or no seeds

Q: Would like seeds in red grapes. Otherwise I need to buy red grapes and grape-seed extract, which is a big burden on my budget. You had them last week and they are all sold out. Hopefully sold out—I am assuming that’s why they’re gone.

A: We don’t have much demand and our suppliers will typically only offer seedless. Maybe you purchased these grapes at another store. We haven’t carried them in the past. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager


Q: I love your pre-made piecrusts in the freezer section! Very tasty and affordable. I also love having Almond Breeze in larger, refrigerated cartons!

A: We’re glad to hear you like the piecrusts and the Almond Breeze! We do our best to accommodate Owner requests. -Liz Hawley, Cooperative Services Assistant

Thanks for the memories

Q: Moving away after three years as a member—what are we going to do without you? Love!

A: We’ll miss you at the Co-op! Hopefully there is a co-op wherever you’re moving! Good luck on the relocation. -Liz Hawley, Cooperative Services Manager

Firewood transport

Q: If the wood you are selling is from outside Dane Co., then this is not good. For more info on how this practice spreads disease and pests, harming our trees, please consult the Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources.

A: Our Norske firewood comes from Black Earth, WI. Transporting firewood from Black Earth to Madison does not violate any DNR rules or regulations. Thank you. -Alex Risch, Asst. Grocery Manager