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: Enough already about how using a credit card costs money! Your arcane rules about having a check with a high enough number is ridiculous and therefore I use credit on principle. Change your policy and then maybe I’ll “save us money.” –Disgruntled member
A: The conversation about the cost of credit cards to merchants is intended to raise awareness. I’m sorry that it has been an annoyance to you. We understand that our Owners have a preference for certain tenders for a variety of reasons, all of which are valid. We appreciate all of our Owner’s patronage and, despite this ongoing conversation regarding the cost of credit cards, we encourage Owners to use their preferred tender. Best, -David Waisman, Director of Finance
Q: Great reminder in the Reader this month about the ATM machine out front (“True Cost of Credit”). Twice today I’ve pulled out my debit card when paying for groceries (at West this morning, East tonite) forgetting there was an ATM machine in front of both stores. Suggestion: Put a small sign on each of the debit/credit swiper machines at every register encouraging a stop at the ATM before coming in the store or to consider it next time they shop.
A: Great suggestion! Thanks for contributing this idea. Best, -David Waisman, Director of Finance
Q: Is it possible to get more fruit in the ripe state? It seems like a lot of fruit is too “green” for me to purchase (esp. pears, plums, bananas, peaches/nectarines, etc.).
A: We do ripen some of the better-selling items we offer but, because of the various degrees of ripeness fruit is shipped, it’s not a guarantee we’ll always have a ripe option. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager–East
Q: It was nasty that you advertised the bulk item sale last month with the wrong dates and then did not inform people unless they caught it on their receipts that they were not getting the percentage off. I was lucky. I caught it. I wonder how many people were misled. I won’t be back.
A: I’m very sorry about your experience. When we realized the error, we posted signs in the stores, put it on our website and on Facebook. We also made up $5 gift cards for people who came in during the original printed dates to offset them not getting the discount. I’m sorry that you didn’t receive a gift card when you came in. If you would still like it, I can arrange to have one left at Customer Service for you. If not, please know that we did try to communicate to customers about the new, correct dates—I’m sorry that I obviously didn’t do a sufficient job.
If you are an Owner and do not wish to remain one, you are entitled to get your equity back—minus the $2 per payment administrative fee. Please call Tamara Urich-Rintz if you would like to get this investment returned to you.
Again, I apologize for my part in your experience, and I hope that you’ll give the Co-op another shot. -Brendon Smith, Director of Communications
We love our kid customers
Q: Tons of things I love about the Co-op. I wanted to point out how many times I have observed staff in interactions with children that are skilled and compassionate—too numerous to be specific. It’s nice—makes me happy to have the Co-op in my community. Cheers!
A: Thank you so much for your kind words. And we feel happy to have kids in our community. -Dan Frost, Store Manager–East
Q: To the cheese folks—when cutting and wrapping cheese, please try not to melt the plastic together, just enough heat to make it stick. The reason for this request is that I want to keep the original wrapping because it has the label with what kind of cheese it is. By the way, I love your selection of cheeses—you do a great job!
A: Health regulations require that we have a tight seal on the plastic. However, one doesn’t have to press for very long on our heat sealers to accomplish this. Perhaps some of the folks in cheese have been pressing down on the heat sealers a little too long. I will ask everyone to use a lighter touch in the future. Thanks! -Stuart Mammel, Cheese Coordinator–East
Eating before paying
Q: Two things that frustrate me are people eating from the bulk bins and eating a prepared food prior to purchasing. What does the Co-op request regarding those that either are consuming items they do not pay for (bulk) and consuming in the store prior to buying?
A: Eating (or drinking) food before it is paid for can lead easily to a shoplifting conviction. It is easy to forget to pay for something that’s already gone and impossible to do so accurately if it is a weighed item. Our staff may approach customers eating in the store to ensure purchases are not forgotten. We certainly prefer and request that customers pay first but understand—especially with kids—that accommodations are sometimes needed. -Dan Frost, Store Manager–East
Q: I would like to request that you provide a tray for dirty dishes in your foyer during months when we can eat outside. Otherwise, we have to walk all the way back inside thru to where the bathrooms are located. Sometimes thru tons of people who are trying to checkout and quite frankly I don’t feel like walking all the way back in thru there. I know, I know; bees, but other places do it. Otherwise, I’ll just leave mine outside. But you do have til next year to come up with a good idea. Thanks.
A: Thanks for your input. We are actually already beginning the process of redesigning the courtyard at East and, as part of that effort, we’ve received widespread and strong interest in locating a bus tub station outside. We’re not sure about our timeline yet, but we’ll certainly add your voice to the chorus.
As to whether we could (perhaps temporarily) locate a bus tub station in our already crowded foyer—I’m not sure. I’ll certainly examine the idea! We’ll discuss it for Willy West too. -Dan Frost, Store Manager–East
Q: I would like to request that you put a big covered firepit in the center area of the outside food courtyard. That would be awesome! I wouldn’t worry about a fire breaking out—there is a fence around the area, a cover over the pit and adults nearby, and of course water, fire extinguishers etc. etc.—for those of us who love the ambience of your storefront.
A: Thanks for the idea! We have considered this before and have so far concluded that at the very least, we’d have to have staff in attendance. We’ll give that conclusion and the idea in general more consideration! -Dan Frost, Store Manager–East
Q: Please bring back the bulk soy flour and whole wheat pastry flour. We depend on these products and are very disappointed that you no longer have them. Also, your bulk items are terrible. No twisty ties, awkward for writing numbers. This store shouldn’t be going downhill since the Willy West store opened. But it has. Also disappointed that you run out of “Show Me The Whey” in bulk too often. Now, there’s no muesli in bulk today. And you seemed to change the brand. I like the kind with dates in it.
A: Thank you for your comments and suggestions [for the Willy East bulk aisle]. 1.) Soy flour: I have brought back the soy flour. However, it is going on four months and I have not yet sold through 25 lbs. I cannot justify the space for such a slow mover. I plan to discontinue it. You can still preorder it and will get a discount if you do. 2.) Whole wheat pastry flour: We have a new local supplier for some of the flours. Lonesome Stone Milling out of Lone Rock, WI now supplies WW all-purpose flour, WW pastry flour, WW bread flour and corn meal. Please try these products. They’re local and of very high quality. 3.) Show Me the Whey: This is a long lead-time item. When I place my order, it sometimes takes a month or more to get it. I am working on my ordering strategies to resolve this issue. 4.) Twist ties: They are back! -Jim Green, Bulk Coordinator–East