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!

No left turn
Q: As you know, parking continues to be a horrible problem. Then there are the inconsiderate drivers—the “no left turn” sign is clearly displayed, yet two cars in front of me tonight did just that. Frankly, I see it a lot—it would be so nice if people would learn to be considerate! Anything you can do about this?

A: We’re stumped as a staff on how to get more cooperation on our “no left turn” request. In some ways I can understand drivers that are going west being reluctant to spend time, gas, and additional carbon footprint on turning right and going a block out of their way to get turned in the westerly direction they need to travel. Though I’ve also had the experience of waiting behind another vehicle for their left-turn opportunity to occur and completely understand your frustration.
Some of the thoughts our staff has considered are that we could mark the lot better with a “no left turn” arrow on the asphalt and install a curb at the entry way that removes the option of turning left.

The problem with both solutions is that we have to allow for a left turn during some parts of the day; currently it is restricted during peak traffic hours but not all day long. We will continue to seek solutions to our parking issues in the coming year while we are planning the resurfacing of the lot. Thank you for writing. -Wynston Estis, Assistant Store Manager–Operations

Sensitivities
Q: A little chlorine in the bathrooms will go a long way to help those with waste sensitivities; at least more so than harm will come to chemical sensitive folks.

A: Our restrooms are cleaned at least twice daily and as needed beyond that. We also regularly vacuum the ventilation grates and apply an odor digester deodorant to the restroom floors weekly. Our chemically sensitive customers would disagree with you about the chlorine. I have been unable to find an air freshener that is okay for chemically sensitive people and has environmentally conscious ingredients. One big problem in the men’s room is that many times the urinal or toilet is not flushed after use. What I’m getting at is, if you see or smell an issue in our restrooms, let Customer Service know and they can get Maintenance to check it out. -Jim Jirous, Maintenance Coordinator

Carrots for the community
Q: Please do not run sale items of non-local product that undercut local items. Example: ESP carrots, 2lb. bag, $1.85 from CA vs. Weeklies sale local carrots for $1.29/lb (both organic). WSC should be promoting local products! Thanks.

A: I don’t see this as a conflict: we provide local carrots when available, and promote them through the season with multiple weekly specials. The local carrots have a dedicated following, and contribute to over 80% of our total carrot sales. For those who are on a fixed income and would like to support organic agriculture, there is the less expensive 2# CA option. This year, we began our “Weeklies” sale program, so that we are better able to provide support to our local growers by being able to offer their products on promotion with short notice. While local growers were reluctant to commit to our previous “Bi-Weekly” promotion due to its length and the uncertainty of their availability, the new Weekly program is tailored to their needs. When their volume on a particular crop is at its highest, we can promote the item and help them sell their product.
We our doing our best to support local farms, our Owners, and the needs of our community. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager

Container woes
Q: I love the housemade bagel chips but HATE the big, plastic container they are packaged in. Couldn’t they just be put in plastic bags?

A: Our reasoning for putting the bagel chips in the plastic containers is so they don’t get broken and smooshed. We’re very soon going to be switching to PLA plastic for our clamshell deli containers. They’re not made from petroleum and can be reused for many purposes. Thanks for the comment! -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

A little something for everyone
Q: Please close during holidays and give employees a break! I thought we are supposed to provide a not-so-capitalist alternative!

A: Interesting comment. The store is open on holidays as a service to our Owners. Staff is paid time and a half. The staff tend to volunteer to work a specific holiday—thus if a staffer is scheduled normally, they can request the day off. Some staff actually like working these days! -Anya Firszt, General Manager

Soy-Free Earth Balance
Q: Wondering if you could please carry the new “Soy-Free” version of Earth Balance spread. Thank you for all you guys do... I really love the Co-op!!

A: We got it! Check the top shelf of the butter door—right about the other Earth Balance tubs. -Matt Hofstede, Grocery Coordinator

Apple applications
Q: I am allergic to the pesticides they use on apples, so I cannot enjoy apple cider unless it is: A.) organic, or B.) pasteurized. (The heat damages/destroys the pesticides enough.)

A: The conventional cider we have from Green Thumb is UV pasteurized which doesn’t require heating. Also, the fresh cider distributed by Organic Valley is not available this year. I recommend you check out the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association’s website (www.waga.org) from the home page, on the left side and click on Orchard Listings. From there it is self-explanatory. Hopefully you’ll be able to find cider that fulfills your specifications. -Matt Hofstede, Grocery Coordinator

Diet soda with stevia
Q: I know space is limited and the last thing y’all need is another product suggestion, but here goes; I think it’d be awesome if we carried a diet soda of some sort. Virgil’s and Hansen’s both make diet sodas with stevia. Also, it’d be cool if we carried a grain-free dry cat food.

A: Thanks for your request! We got diet soda from Blue Sky, made with stevia. Our Grocery team is looking into a grain-free dry cat food and will do their best to bring this item in. Thanks again. -Liz Hawley, Cooperative Services

I’m offended
Q: I am offended by the new “Do Not Shop into Your Bag” policy. Backpacks are understandable but shopping bags will be emptied at checkout.

A: I’m sorry this request offends you. Staff asked management to support this campaign so they wouldn’t be in the position of having to empty anyone’s bag. We know that most of customers would never be dishonest with the Co-op. But there are people who use our trusting environment as an opportunity to take products without paying for them. We appreciate your support reducing those opportunities. -Wynston Estis, Assistant Store Manager–Operations

Receipts
Q: Is there any reason you must print the member’s name on the receipt?

A: The membership database that we are currently using requires us to identify each membership by name and number. Attaching a name to each member is significant in that it allows us to verify that the customer using the membership is tied to the correct number; this is extremely important to protecting the integrity of use on each membership and is also instrumental in ensuring that equity payments are attributed to the correct memberships. Unfortunately, our database and register systems are not able to omit the Owner’s name from receipts without omitting the membership number as well. We will be instituting a new register system this year and will look in to the necessity of including member names on receipts. -Jesse Thurber, Asst. Front End Manager

Bulk or per each
Q: I love the fact that you can unbind the celery and just take a stalk or two if you need it. Would it be possible to do the same with parsley or to have bulk parsley? I rarely need more than a couple tablespoons at a time, and the rest goes to waste.

A: Because parsley is sold by the “each,” we’re unable to offer the service of buying the amount you need. Regarding your suggestion of selling parsley as a “bulk” item; it’s just not cost effective and would most likely generate loss on our end. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager