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!

Wowed by Wellness Staff Integrity
Q: I just read Jesse Durst’s article in the August Reader. What a breath of fresh air! It says a lot about the integrity of your staff and your business that he was able to write such an honest, sensible, down to earth critique that gently questioned the tendency of consumers to flock to the latest Dr. Oz fad and forget our basic need for exercise and real foods. I love how he phrased it: “...if you are looking to improve your health, the best place you could go is actually the produce aisle.” Hooray for Jesse and for Willy St. Co-op for using your newsletter space to give voice to the simple truth about real and lasting heath. It would be easy to succumb to the opportunism of so many health food stores who prey upon people who’ve been brainwashed by their TVs, but you took a brave stand against that, despite the fact that your sales would be higher otherwise. Thanks for being real and serving the health of our LOCAL community! This makes me feel proud to support your business and confident that Willy St. Co-op is still grounded in the principles I was attracted to as a new member almost 20 years ago. Thank you for your people-centered values and for remembering what really matters. (Feel free to shorten this letter as needed, because I’d love to share it with the public if you feel it’s of value and end up having space in your next Reader.)

A: Wow! What a great letter. I’m so glad you enjoyed Jesse’s article. Thank you so much! -Liz Wermcrantz, Reader Editor

Q: No complaints never. Always happy to shop here.

A: Thank you! That is very nice to hear and I will pass your compliment on to the staff. –Kristin Esselstrom, Front End Manager–East

Bag usage
Q: I think it is time for Willy St to take the next step in leadership regarding the use/reuse of bags. Having traveled recently, I have noticed that many stores (with values similar to Willy St.) are charging for paper bags. Willy St should join this next wave. Suspend the “bring your own bag” discount and start charging 10¢ for bags just as the Co-op does for other receptacles.

A: Thank you for sharing your suggestion. We have been talking about changing our approach to re-usable bags and will keep your idea in mind. We do want to find ways to remind and encourage the use of re-usable bags. Thanks. –Kristin Esselstrom, Front End Manager–East

Fruit size
Q: Much of the time, only huge naval oranges are provided individually and the smaller ones are only available in bags. I’d appreciate it if the smaller ones could be made available individually. Thanks for considering.

A: We tend to offer the larger size because we recognized a dramatic increase in sales compared to the smaller size, but we can certainly offer both. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager–East

AMP Dinner
Q: I’m a long, longtime Co-op member, overall very happy with my Co-op and generally don’t like to complain, but lasts night’s free “meal” at the meeting was pretty pathetic. I hope you either give up the idea of free food or come up with a better plan in the future. Thanks.

A: Thanks for sharing your experience with the Annual Meeting & Party meal. We did hear from some other attendees that they were unimpressed with dinner, but also from many who liked it. Either way, we have already begun talking about how we will do things differently next year. Your comments will help in that process. I hope you’ll give it another try next year. –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications

Resusable bags
Q: Hi! Thanks for having a bin to recycle plastic bags. Did you know your neighbor St. Vincent de Paul is begging for bags? Just a thought!

A: Thanks for the heads up. We’ll see what we can work out with them! –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications

Bulk green tea
Q: Could you carry a bulk decaf green tea?

A: Hi. Thanks for the suggestion. I will add it to our list of new tea ideas. I know Frontier makes a mango decaf green tea in bulk. Also there are many packaged decaf green teas. You can always special order this if you would like. –Evan Coleman, Assistant Wellness Manager–East

Wellness Wednesday stocking
Q: Regarding Wellness Wednesdays: It would be nice if greater care was taken to make sure the department is fully stocked on Wellness Wednesdays. There always seems to be something out of stock on that day. Thanks.

A: Hi and thanks for the feedback. We place orders at least two weeks before Wellness Wednesday to ensure it will get here in time. With the amount of vendors we have, there are bound to be out of stocks especially with the high standard most of our vendors have. They will outright reject a shipment of product if they don’t like the quality. Thanks! –Evan Coleman, Assistant Wellness Manager–East

Rennet-free cheese
Q: We have mozzarella without rennet, but it seems that all deli dishes with mozzarella use cheese with rennet. Many vegetarians then have to pass on a dish they might otherwise buy. Any compelling reason the Co-op’s Kitchen can’t use the rennet-free mozzarella? Thanks.

A: Thanks for the question. The only rennet-free cheeses we are aware of are soft, fresh cheeses like cream cheese, so we do use mozzarella with rennet in our Deli dishes BUT it is made with vegetarian rennet. The cheese we use is local, RGBH-free and made with veggie rennet so it is, I believe, okay for vegetarians.  Thanks! –Julia Gengenbach, Assistant Deli Manager–East

Thanks for the party!
Q: Great job, as always, on the Member party. I’m hoping you don’t get too many comments on the food line. I know you guys were prepared and organized as always and that things just happen (not always according to plan). The whole event goes way above and beyond Co-op “duties” and is much appreciated.

We’re an hour south of Madison and don’t get to the Co-op often (and stock up when we do), but have been making a specific, regular trip the past few years just for the Member Party. Thanks!

A; Thanks so much for your kind words, and glad you could make it again this year! –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications

Customer service
Q: Bravo to Conor who is always so pleasant (and accurate) and once he rescued me by reuniting me with an important notebook I lost.

A: Excellent! Thanks for the positive feedback. I’ll make sure to share this with Conor. –Jesse Thurber, Assistant Front End Manager–East

Parking lot issues
Q: I always see people park in the lot and walk way down the street. What’s being done to better address this issue and the parking problem it creates for us who have come to shop? Thank. I <3 WSC!

A: Thank you for your concern. Our staff vigorously monitors our lots for abuse. Those found not heeding posted restrictions are ticketed and/or towed. Please keep in mind that we allow our customers to run a quick errand at one of our fine neighbor stores whenever they visit our store. –Dan Frost, Store Manager–East

Thanks for the info
Q: Thanks for the great cheese info poster by the cheeses by deli work area.

A: We are so proud to be able to offer all of those wonderful cheeses. I’m glad you like the poster. Our in-house graphic designer Hallie Zillman designed it. We are very lucky to have her talent at the store! -Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East

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