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!
PROCESSED SEA SALT
Q: I would like to know what kind of salt you are using in your hot case items. I know you are using some sea salt. Hopefully not the processed sea salt that uses chemicals to take nutrients out. Processed salt contains aluminum and sugar, both of which are toxic to the body. I don’t understand why you would use these when you’re trying to offer high-quality food. I look forward to hearing from you.
A: We appreciate your input. We use Guisto’s Pacific Coast Sea Salt available in our Bulk Aisle. It has only 0.5% magnesium carbonate to keep the salt from retaining moisture in the air and clumping, nothing else and is “naturally processed.” You can read more about it online or in our bulk aisle. Hope this answers your question and thank you for supporting your local Co-op! –Ginnie Richardson, Dei Manager–West
ELECTRIC CHARGING STATIONS
Q: I will be driving to the Co-op in an electric car soon and typically when I park at the Co-op, the electric charging stalls are filled with non-electric cars. Perhaps you could paint the strip a different color than yellow (green) to signify the uniqueness of the stalls, much like the handicapped stalls are painted blue.
A: Congratulations on your greener vehicle. We can paint the lines green on a warm day or once it’s spring again. As more and more folks switch to greener modes of transportation, hopefully awareness of these charging stations will improve. Thanks for writing. –Wynston Estis, Operations Manager
Q: I love this store! But can we consider a filtered cold and hot water spout in the eating area for folks to make tea and such with clean water? They are doing this at all the natural food stores in Portland, OR and it is very useful. Also, Yerba Maté on tap like coffee would be lovely!!
A: Hot water is available at both Juice Bars that is reverse osmosis filtered. Also, the water fountains have reverse osmosis water as well. Thanks for writing. –Wynston Estis, Operations Manager
Q: Dear Willy West, You are lovely people. We especially enjoy your carrot arrangements. They are truly neato. Good job. Thank you for your smiles. That being said, we find your beets just a few cents too expensive. Otherwise, hurrah! Besos.
A: Thank you for your kind words! I will pass on your carrot compliments too the Produce team! I’m sorry that you find our beets to be expensive. They are locally grown this time of year and we have made a point to offer our farmers a fair price for their products. While this doesn’t always translate to the lowest price in town, it does mean that the money you spend stays right here in our local economy and ensures that our family farmers can keep doing what they love to do. Thanks again! –Megan Blodgett Minnick, Produce Manager–West
Q: I wrote about this before, and my comment was published in the Reader. The vegetables at Willy West are still way too wet. I thought you were going to adjust the sprayers to spray less or less frequently. Soggy sweet onions? Sopping celery? Saturated radicchio? Too wet! Too wet! Let me ask you this. When you get your vegetables home to your own fridge, do you submerge your cauliflower? No, it makes it limp. Lighten up already. You do so many things right. I know you can figure this out.
A: Thanks for the comment! I’m sorry that you are still finding our veggies to be too wet. We have adjusted the sprayers, but it seems that it wasn’t enough of a change. I hesitate to turn the sprayers down even more. The cold air from the refrigeration can quickly dehydrate the veggies if they are not kept wet. If you would like drier vegetables, feel free to ask a produce staff member. We’d be glad to get things from the back. Vegetables keep much better in the backstock cooler since the refrigeration is not blowing air directly on them (they’re protected by the boxes they come in). It’s similar to your refrigerator at home—if veggies are protected in a crisper drawer, they do not need to be constantly rehydrated like they do in our display case. Thanks again! –Megan Blodgett Minnick, Produce Manager–West
Plop, Plop, fizz, fizz
Q: I just wanted to say thank you for putting out great information in your newsletter for getting rid of indigestion. I have been suffering for a few days and I did a little research and decided to try acidophilus, enzyme supplements, and miso soup and I’m feeling much better in a matter of hours. I tried two things from the regular ol’ drug store and I knew I shouldn’t have because I hate drug store crap. Anywho, I searched around today online to get more ideas on what foods help and stumbled on this newsletter from 2004 (www.willystreet.coop/Newsletter/Newsletter_Archive/0411/haba.html) and I’ve confirmed that I’m totally on the right track after reading it! I’m still burping a little here and there but my stomach doesn’t feel nearly as bad. Please say thank you to Lisa Stag-Tout if she’s still a part of the Co-op :) Spread the health!
A: Wow! Thanks! I will pass along your compliments to Lisa. Glad you’re feeling better! –Liz Wermcrantz, Editor
Q: Thank you for continuing to offer Bicycle Benefits. It has made a huge difference in how we shop and we are committed to biking through the winter instead of getting our car repaired. I never have the stress of trying to find a parking spot any longer! We have saved enough money to cover the cost of the cargo wagon I bought a few years ago; the 5% really adds up over time. Thanks!
A: That’s great to hear! Thanks for sharing. –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications
Bag credit clarification
Q: I would like to raise the point/complain about a discrepancy: when I use NO bags, I don’t get a discount, but if I bring one, I do. It should be the same discount if you bring a bag as don’t use any. Thank you for your hard work.
A: Thanks for writing. We have had this question before and it’s always good to share this information with everyone who asks. Our reused bag incentive program was created as a way to encourage the use and reuse of existing bags, and to keep our supply costs low. The option of giving credit to customers not using a bag was discussed, however, it was felt that this would defeat the purpose of saving money on bags that customers would otherwise need to transport groceries home (currently, new paper bags cost us 10¢ a piece versus paying customers 5¢ for every paper bag they reuse). To make the incentive measurable, we instituted the following parameters: “A bag must be reasonably full before you can use a second one (e.g. to receive the credit). Purchases under $3.00 are not eligible for reimbursement.” While it might not always be the case, most small transactions would not fit in with either of these criteria (and, additionally, if we offered a credit for everyone who did not use a bag, we would have to essentially offer the credit for EVERY transaction, including those who just come in for, say, a coffee, which would end up costing the Co-op more and cause the program to be unsustainable), so for consistency’s sake, we require that customers’ purchases fall within these guidelines in addition to presenting a reused bag. We continue to welcome any constructive feedback and suggestions on improving this incentive for the future. Thanks again! –Jesse Thurber, Assistant Front End Manager–East
Kids are people too
Q: Thanks so much for always prioritizing kids—but especially by including kids’ designs in the t-shirt contest. Our son won this year with his “peas” design and is so thrilled. It’s the most distinct accomplishment of his rockin’ 9 years that he initiated (he reads the Reader) and took on by himself (dang, it took a long time to draw all those peas). He already was, but now more than ever, is a dedicated Co-op supporter for life! Thanks for all you guys do.
A: Thanks for writing and congratulations to your son—he has a lot of new fans! –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications