Q: Almost a year now I have changed my diet/lifestyle and have cut out all animal products except honey. I enjoy tofu but being that I am a male and the average tofu is made up of soybeans which is known to produce female like hormones. I enjoyed the hemp tofu that use to be sold here & would like to know what happened to it….? And Breakfast burritos?
A: Thanks for your questions and for sharing your dietary preferences with us. I checked in with our Grocery Team and Prepared Foods team to answer your questions. We did have to make some assumptions about what products you were seeking: I hope you meant the Tempt Hemp Tofu and the Amy’s Breakfast Burritos? Due to slow sales, both of those products have been discontinued, and may be available as a special order at case volume for you. Please see Customer Service to find out about availability and how Owners can place special orders. The Grocery department does review product requests often, and if these products were to return to our shelves, we will do our best to let you know.
Please let me know if there is anything else we can do for you. Thanks again! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: What is the coop doing with food waste such as older packaged food, and older produce, older deli? Does the coop give these products to food pantries, or use in the deli, or does it get thrown out. Is there a way to get this food to a food pantry or kitchen before it is thrown out? I am really starting to be bothered by the amount of food waste in our country.
A: Thanks for asking! We do our best to ensure that the vast majority of the food we have makes it to mouths before it ever gets disposed. For examples, if the food may become a loss for the Co-op, it is either given to employees or food pantries, depending on which department the food is coming from and the quantity of food that needs to be distributed. Imperfect produce that is still good to eat is discounted for purchase. Organic trimmings from produce and pulp from the juice bar is put out for customers to take and use as animal feed or for organic compost. Prepared foods that are at the sell-by date are donated to staff in our “free boxes,” which are in various areas at all of our locations (East, West, the Off-Site Kitchen and the Central Office). When food is leftover from a catered or in-store event, it is often donated to staff as well. If we have large amounts of perishable, yet still viable food available from something such as a catered in-store event, we donate the surplus to food pantries. Please let me know if there is anything else I may do for you. Have a great weekend! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: 1. Please start using coconut milk in the juice bar—Almond milk is too thin, I’m trying to avoid soy (so bad for us!) and I can’t have dairy. This leaves me no milk options, which means no delicious beverages from the juice bar. :(
2. I would love to see a more sturdy lettuces on the salad bar at Willy West—the spring mix is too fragile to hold up to the cold temps. A nice romaine would be perfect— even a mix of romaine and the spring mix work better. I would buy many more salads if we made this easy change!!
3. Please bring back the canvas re-useable bags with the Willy St. logo! They hold up so much better than the ones currently for sale and they make a wonderful gift!
A: Thanks for sharing your ideas! I’ve checked in with our Prepared Foods Category Manager Patrick Schroeder and our Director of Communications Brendon Smith, to respond. Prepared Foods reviews their catalog regularly, and would be happy to add coconut milk to their next review to see what might be feasible. And you can now find romaine lettuce at both salad bars. With regard to the canvas reusable bags, good news! We plan to bring them back sometime in late summer, after the new fiscal year. Please let me know if there is anything else I may do for you. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: Please offer the opportunity at the cash registers for us to donate (& give cards acknowledging “in honor of”) to Madison food pantries YEARROUND! Makes a great & easy present. Thanks.
A: Thanks for the suggestion. I’m glad you enjoy giving Pantries of Plenty donations as gifts to others, I agree, it’s a great present to give. The POP program just completed its second year, and we don’t run it year round in part due to other register campaigns, and also so that people don’t forget about it. We feel we have better success with this project when we offer it for a limited time and keep it fresh in the minds of our customers. It is also a program that was designed specifically to address a concern communicated by partner food pantries: stocking fresh foods that are less available by other means when it’s not the growing season. All said, I will certainly keep your comment in mind when we review the program. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Chef Chantell’s demo
Q: we spent a delightful time Wednesday evening jan 27. The food-making demo with chantell the chef was superb, the other helpers were equally great, the quinoa salad was delightful, and the fig tarts were equally a great ending to a wonderful presentation. The Monona library surely did pick a excellent group, thank you, and again the chef, the other girls, well done......... foodies
A: I had a blast spending the evening with you and all the other attendees last Wednesday. My helpers Laura and Heather were delighted to join me, can you believe it was their first time ever participating in a food demo class? They loved it. We hope to join forces with Monona Library again, to have another spectacular night. My heart is happy when I get a good reaction from the crowd and a thumbs up on the food. From one foodie to another, Chef Chantell Orellana and the girls!
Q: Hello, I purchased some yellow onions yesterday at West and when I went to cook with them last night, two were rotten and moldy inside. I took photos of them (which I can provide) but live in Oregon so it is not practical for me to drive out to Middleton for a refund at this time. Can I still get one at a later date? Thanks
A: I’m sorry to hear you purchased onions that were bad in the middle! I think you may have gotten some of the last of the local storage onions. We are now moving on to storage onions from the West Coast, which will be a fresher storage onion. You may stop by the Customer Service desk at either store to request a refund next time you are in the store. Thanks for letting us know! -Brandy Schroeder, Produce Manager–West
Q: Can we just step back and think about how someone on a budget can afford 10 or 20 on a class?
A: Thanks for asking! When classes include food demos and sampling, class prices cover cost of materials and the instructor’s time. We charge $10 extra for non-owners on classes that aren’t free to help keep the costs lower for those invested in the Co-op. Many lectures and tours are free, and Owners using the Access Discount receive one free class coupon yearly and 10% off all Owner class prices.
Please let us know if you have more questions. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
tex mex tuesday
Q: Taco Tuesdays make my life better. Also, everything you do with cheese for that hot bar is a religious experience. The gluten-free Mac is a gift from Yahweh. The cheese sauce from Taco Tuesdays is better than sex.
I’m a recently single gal, so dinners are a time for being sad and lonely and also empowering myself, because imma go load up on amazingness at the WSCO, and nobody can tell me that the stuff costs more than restaurant food, because that’s a stupid argument anyway, given that it’s better than 99.9% of restaurant food.
I splurge a lot here. I spend too much of my income on food. But this is the good life. Keep being extremely Good at life, Co-op employees.
A: Thank you for sending along your compliments about our hot bar and for visiting us often. We appreciate the kind words, and I will pass on your compliments to our Prepared Foods departments and Off-Site Kitchen. We hope tosee you soon! Take care. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services