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!

Too many potatoes
Q: Granny’s Split Pea Soup was great a month ago. It was thick and hearty. Now it’s just a thin broth and full of potatoes, not peas. In general, to save costs, you put a lot of potatoes in your soups. Please—less potatoes and more substance. Don’t falsely bulk up your soups with potatoes. Raise prices and give substance e.g. peas, beans, not potatoes.

A: Thanks for writing in and sorry hear that your most recent experience with this soup recipe has not been positive. We haven’t changed the recipe at all, so I’m not sure what happened to your soup. As for potatoes, we do feature them in a number of soups, but do not intend for them to replace or act as a filler of other, more expensive ingredients (because we use organic produce, potatoes are actually more expensive than beans). Here are some of our soups that do not contain potatoes at all: Chicken Vegetable, Creamy Cauliflower, Creamy Mushroom, Fresh Tomato Basil, Indian Split Pea, New Zealand Sweet Potato, Senegalese Peanut Stew, Spicy Corn Chowder. Thanks! -Josh Perkins, Production Kitchen Manager

Credit cards
Q: Please start accepting American Express!

A: American Express cards would cost the Co-op significantly more to process than Visa or MasterCard. For that reason, we have opted not to accept American Express cards. We also have not had many requests to accept these cards.

As an interesting experiment, you may want to go to www.truecostofcredit.com to see what a typical grocer would pay in credit card fees for various types of cards. For example, I entered an American Express card and a MasterCard and learned that on a $100 purchase, a typical grocer would pay $3.65 and $1.47 in processing fees respectively. Thanks! -David Waisman, Director of Finance

Fair trade tomatoes
Q: Why don’t we carry fair trade tomatoes? With all the info out there about the near slave labor conditions and even legitimate slave labor being used—in Florida and elsewhere, I would LOVE to see them in our store! P.S. Check out www.redtomato.org/trade.php. Not sure of all the details, but it could be useful?

A: Thanks for the comment! While none of the tomatoes we carry have an official Fair Trade label, we do source them from farms in MX and CA that have documented fair labor practices—check out www.sunnyvalleyorganics.com and www.delcabo.com to get info on two of our biggest non-local tomato vendors. We also source local tomatoes whenever we can get them from farms we know first-hand have both good agricultural and labor practices. Buying local is the best way to know for sure that your food dollars are supporting farmers who care about their land and the people who work on it. Thanks again—I hope to talk more about his important subject! -Megan Blodgett, Produce Manager–West

Baby formula
Q: Your baby formula says it’s only for babies over one year. I checked with my doctor, who says it’s okay to use for my baby. My concerns is I would guess that many mothers here breastfeed exclusively. However, it’s helpful to have formula for emergency situations. Checking with your doctor isn’t helpful in that kind of situation. I’d like to see: Something from their website making things clearer; a statement from a doctor saying the formula is safe, and formula on your shelves that says it is safe for babies. Thanks!

A: After checking with the manufacturer, they clarified the explanation, and I also found more info on their website. Basically, they want to encourage mothers to breastfeed first. So, even though the formula meets the nutritional requirements according to the Infant Formula Act for newborns/babies, they only recommend their product for toddlers.

We could see about having this information from the manufacturer posted. -Lynn Olson, Director of Cooperative Services

Deli containers
Q: I know you do a great job making things eco-friendly, however, when you changed from plastic to paper & corn/soy containers at the salad bar, you made it more difficult for those of us with allergies. We cannot eat out of these containers. And they are not labeled as such. Aluminum foil or plastic is needed as an alternative for the celiac community. Thanx!

A: Thanks for the feedback. Because of our limited space, we are not able to offer plastic as an alternative. You are welcome to bring in your own containers. We would be happy to weigh them at the Deli scale prior to filling. We also have aluminum foil in our kitchen. Feel free to ask at the Deli counter. Another option is the Bagasse container used for our hot food. It is made from 100% sugar cane fiber. Thanks! -Gina Jimenez, Deli Manager–East

Brrrr...
Q: Hi, it’s really cold in here! Like a shock to the system. The body adapts to the warm weather and then when walking into the Co-op, it’s like wow! It’s cold in here. Does it need to be so chilly? I know we love AC but not excessively! Thanks.

A: This question comes up every summer. We have to keep the store at a certain temp to deal with high humidity and strain on our refrigeration systems. Keeping the air drier helps to keep condensation from building up and freezing on the cooler/freezer cooling coils. This build-up can contribute to equipment failure and food spoilage (because of air flow blockage in the cases). Drier air also minimizes slipping hazards from humidity condensing on the cooler doors and dripping onto the floor. Our entry doors are opening and closing nearly constantly during the day, letting warm/humid air into the store that needs to be dealt with. Add to that cooler and freezer doors opening and closing several times a minute throughout the day and you can imagine how hard the coolers and freezers have to work to keep all the food in them from spoiling. -Jim Jirous, Maintenance Coordinator