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!
Q: I personally don’t shop here and this is the first time. I have purchased or wanted to purchase a medium coffee for $1.89 with tax and with that item was a carrot cake with white icing.
Went to cashier and was disappointed I couldn’t write a check for the amount of $9.38. Wanted to write a check for over the amount, which was $20.00 over. Then was told that my check had to be the check number of 1000.
In other words, couldn’t write a check under the ck number. Made a decision right then to never shop here again!
A: Thank you for writing! I am sorry that our check policy regarding non-Owners caused an inconvenience for you. This has been our policy for some time. We also have check policies that our Owners must adhere to as well. I do hope you reconsider your decision and shop with us again. Thanks again. -Jesse Thurber, Assistant Front End Manager–East
Q: Why so much bacon on the morning breakfast hot bar? Four items had bacon. Why not a vegetarian frittata?
A: Thank you for your comment. Bacon is very popular with our customers, however four items with bacon does seem excessive. Looking back at the menus, I can’t imagine what they were. We do offer two vegetarian frittatas—the Greek and the zucchini pepper. They are offered each week in addition to the daily vegan sausage biscuit and oatmeal. Thanks! -Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East
Q: I had the curried chicken salad here the other day and all I can say is yummy! Thanks!
A: I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! We appreciate the positive feedback. Thanks. -Liz Hawley, Cooperative Services Assistant
Q: I used to love grapes until they fell off the stem every time I buy them. Too bad!
A: Thanks for bringing this to our attention! We’ll look into it and source from an alternative vendor if necessary. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager–East
Q: Bring childcare to the new site. It would be amazing! There is a small grocery chain that does it. I can’t think of the name right now.
A: Are you referring to childcare for our employees or for shoppers? Either way, this would require a significant amount of resources—so would require quite a bit of planning. We’re currently reviewing our employee benefits, so I’ll add your suggestion to that conversation. -Lynn Olson, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: I came to join with the coupon stating $10 members—was told that is only the beginning payment and a membership is still $58.00. This is false advertising. Nowhere is this indicated on the coupon.
A: I’m sorry for your trouble. I believe the coupon was from Valpak and it says that you can become an Owner for just $10—this is true. You won’t be a paid-in-full Owner until you’ve paid off your Fair Share, but you get the benefits of Ownership with your first payment, including being able to use the coupon. I think the confusion lies with the idea that the coupon is for a discounted membership rather than for $5 off for Co-op Owners. I’m sorry that I didn’t make that more clear on the coupon. -Brendon Smith, Director of Communications
Q: I was wondering do you carry “Earth Cafe” raw, vegan cheesecakes. Please let me know. Thanks.
A: We sell Earth Cafe raw & vegan cheesecake slices. We can special order a whole cheesecake for you as well, if you would like. Feel free to contact our Juice Bar at either our East or West stores if you want to order a whole cheesecake. -Dean Kallas, Purchasing Manager
Q: So if buy local is your core message, why was there so much produce from other states and countries this summer? There are sometimes really bad looking apples and a couple other items once in a while. I just don’t get it when we have all those vendors at the farmer’s market. Please explain!!!!!! Even if the reason is contracts, markups, or just business reasons. We mostly shop for produce at Willy St and when 90% of the produce is NOT LOCAL it’s hard to believe that is your “core message.”
A: I’m confused by your message. I’ll admit, we struggle with sourcing local fruit, but then again, there really aren’t a lot of commercial fruit growers in the state, and we are working on finding folks who can supply us. Many of the growers we’ve talked are willing to make a delivery once per week: selling us what they have left over after the Saturday Farmer’s Market. If we relied on this method of sourcing local produce, we’d be out of business!
Regarding vegetables, our selection through the summer months of July, August, and September is overwhelmingly locally grown. We’ve already purchased over $300,000 worth of locally grown produce from over 25 local growers this year. When you state that 90% of the produce is NOT LOCAL, at what time of the year are you referring to? During peak season, over 90% of the vegetable items are locally grown and certified organic, and you can always find something locally grown at any time of the year!
And, “all those vendors at the farmers’ market” are just that. Many of those produce volumes suited for the farmers market, and that’s it. Not only do they not grow enough to supply the Co-op, they would prefer to not to sell to the Co-op and get a premium “farmer’s market” price for their goods.
We do our best to provide local produce when possible. There are a number of factors we need to consider when making these decisions, and while we are always striving to improve our systems and increase our support to local growers, I am confident that we are currently doing better than most!
We currently have several dozen local vegetable items: all of our root vegetables, bok choy, napa cabbage, green, red and savoy cabbage, leeks, cauliflower, bunched salad turnips, potatoes, sprouts, mizuna, mustard, collards, kale, six varieties of winter squash, greenhouse tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and many more. Sincerely, Andy Johnston, Produce Manager–East
Q: Do you have gift cards for use at either of your stores? I’d like to get one for Christmas for my daughter who lives in Madison.
A: Gift cards are available for any amount, and they can be purchased at either store location at the Customer Service desk. The gift card will work at both locations as well. You may also purchase a gift card over the phone if you feel comfortable using your credit card, and we can mail the gift card to you. Please give us a call if you have any further questions on the east side at 608-251-6776 or the west side in Middleton at 608-284-7800. Thank you for your interest in the Willy Street Co-op! -Cameron Waitman, Customer Service
Q: The meatloaf was seriously delicious. Thanks for bringing it back.
A: You are welcome! It’s one of my favorites as well! -Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East
Q: I know there’s a lot of people that don’t eat meat that eat out of the salad bar and I respect their wants of not seeing meat. But I myself like salads and would stop going elsewhere (like Copps) to get my salad if you offered a meat (turkey, chicken, ham) choice. No need for all yet one would be nice. I am trying to eat healthier and this would help me.
A: Thanks for your input! This is definitely something we will be starting. Right now we do offer some high protein salads on the salad bar but they do contain a lot of other ingredients. Look for the diced meat in the coming weeks! Thanks! -Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East
Q: Katherine in the Juice Bar is always cheerful, professional, and always goes the extra mile to make sure customers get what they want/need. She is the best!
A: Thanks for your comment! I agree. She’s awesome. -Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East
Q: Way to go Deli! Such cheerful, friendly service! Much appreciated.
A: Thank you so much! We love this kind of feedback! Thanks. -Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East