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!

PARKING TIPS
Q: I read a lot of complaints about the lack of parking space, but I’ve never had a problem finding one. There have always been spots available within a block of the Co-op, on the street behind and even on the opposite side of Willy St—even during tow-away times. All it takes is the ability and willingness to walk just a bit further. Thanks for all you do for our community!

A: Thank you for writing. It’s always nice to hear words of appreciation and support. We’ll keep working on parking, too, for those that don’t have the same experience with parking opportunities in our neighborhood. -Wynston Estis, Assistant Store Manager—Operations

NEW LOCATION
Q: I think the new location is great. Glad we will be using an existing building.

A: Thank you! Utilizing an existing structure was another qualifier used in making our selection. Thanks! -Lynn Olson, Director of Cooperative Services

PRIVACY ISSUES
Q: Can you tweak the register screen to make “EBT Food Stamps” more private/hidden so word is not blasting out to the next customer in line that the person in front of them has need for food stamps?

A: Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback The IT Department made this change, and you should be able to see the difference immediately. Best regards. -James Phetteplace, Information Systems Manager

WHEATGRASS SUPPLY
Q: Unfortunately, just a complaint. The lack of wheatgrass lately is really getting annoying. I suggest seeking a new supplier before customers seek a new source.

A: Thanks for the comment! I agree that the lack of wheatgrass recently has been very annoying. Our supplier has had some major problems with their production, and unfortunately we haven’t been able to find a source that can supply us in their absence. Our supply is slowly getting back on track, and we’re continuing to look for an alternate back-up supplier in case we run into this situation again. I apologize for the inconvenience! -Megan Blodgett, Deli
Manager

GLUTEN-FREE OATS
Q: Any chance you can bring in gluten-free oats? Woodman’s sometimes has them but I would rather buy them here.

A: Good news! We do carry Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats and Steel Cut Oats. They’re in aisle 4 on the bottom shelf near all the hot cereals. -Liz Hawley, Cooperative Services Assistant

WILLY WEST DRIVE THRU?
Q: I love that you are coming to Middleton. Yeah! I hope you plan on using the already existing drive thru for a juice bar, coffee, wheatgrass drive thru. Just an idea, but very worthy of the concept.

A: Although this is a great idea and you’re not the first to suggest it, the current location of the drive thru is the only side of the building that will work for a loading dock. We will have an express lane inside the store for easy checkout of all Deli items for those on the go. Thanks for writing. -Wynston Estis, Assistant Store Manager—Operations

THANKS FOR THE TICKETS
Q: Thank you! We won the tickets to the Hubbard Street Dance Company through the member drawing box at the end of the aisle. Took our 8-year-old son for an “out of the box” modern dance cultural experience. Definitely not something we would have bought tickets for—so we really appreciate the opportunity via Willy Street Co-op to try something new and share it with our son. Thanks!

A: Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I’m glad that the tickets found such a good use.
-Brendon Smith, Director of Communications

WHERE’S THE BEEF?
Q: I came in this afternoon hungry from having missed lunch and found no meat in the deli—I could’ve been happy with the spanakopita but for some reason you soak it with lemon juice—totally bogus and totally bad.

A: Thanks for the comment! We always strive to get a vegan, vegetarian, and meat option in our hot case. Believe it or not, it’s usually the vegetarians who complain that we have too much meat! It’s good for us to remember that our meat eaters also need an option. I’ll do my best to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Thanks again! -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

LOVE OUR CO-OP!
Q: Hats off to all the wonderful coop staff! It’s Sunday afternoon and very busy. But it’s still (as always) a joy to shop here. I asked a casual question of the cheese guru (Stuart), “Are there any low/lower sodium cheese options?” and next thing I know, he pulls out a list of more than a dozen cheeses, and their respective sodium levels (in milligrams). Even when people are so busy, this place is a joy. Thanks, everyone! I dread the occasions I have to shop at “mainstream” grocery stores. Love our coop!

A: Thanks for your kind words! Stuart is a great authority on cheese, and he does a great job as our Cheese Coordinator. I’ll pass the compliment on to him. Thanks! -Megan Blodgett, Deli Manager

GREAT POTENTIAL
Q: I know that space is limited in the Customer Comments section, but as a co-op owner I was disappointed by your response to a complaint in the May issue about an expanded meat department at Willy West. I agree that most current forms of animal agriculture in the U.S. are inefficient, inhumane, and not environmentally friendly. I also agree that most Americans eat more meat than is necessary and healthy. But I also believe that one of the great challenges for a “sustainable” agriculture will be finding non-conventional sources of fertility. Green manures and compost are fabulous, but they cannot replace all that leaves the farm by human consumption. If a grower is relying on purchased bone meal as a source of phosphorus, then he or she is relying on the by-products of (probably conventional) animal agriculture. Why not integrate animals responsibly into the system, keeping the fertility close to home? With a pasture-based system, he or she has the chance to increase the efficiency of food production since ruminants digest cellulose into a form usable by humans, turning otherwise non-food into food, and provide their manure as a precious by-product. The meat produced can supply humans with biologically necessary nutrients, such as vitamin B12 without the need to rely on supplements. I would also argue that vegetarians/vegans who do not like the idea of killing animals for human consumption should look to evidence of animal harm that comes from intensive crop production systems. For example, Davis (2003) in the Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Ethics estimates that under current crop production systems 1.8 billion animals per year would be killed to produce a vegan diet.

Why not get the word out about the great potential animal agriculture has rather than focusing on its current harms? In the end all I ask is that important issues, such as meat consumption, be recognized as extremely complex issues, even if all those complexities can’t be covered here.

A: Wow! Nicely stated, and thank you for your support. -Lynn Olson, Director of Cooperative Services