Soy Yogurt in Quarts
Q: I desperately need soy yogurt. I think Whole Soy will never resurrect itself. Ask Stonyfield’s to market unsweetened soy yogurt in quarts. Same with Nancy’s.
A: Thanks for your question! It’s true the Whole Soy brand soy yogurt has been missing from our shelves for a while. The good news is that the 6 oz. cups are now back and the quarts will soon follow. The reason for their absence was that the facility they had previously been using to co-pack their yogurt abruptly stopped making their product in 2013. Whole Soy was able to rebound from this challenge and construct their own, 100% dairy-free production facility, which has allowed them to resume production while also ensuring that no cross contamination can happen with dairy products. They have lots of great information about their new plant on their website: www.wholesoyco.com. As soon as the quart size is available, we’ll be sure to get it back on our shelves! –Megan Minnick, Purchasing Director
Sunflower Seed Butter
Q: Please give us the option of sunflower seed butter. You have three bins: two with peanuts (crunchy & smooth) and one with almonds. The almonds are usually stale, so prefer you substitute sunflowers for almonds. Or limit the peanut options to one. Or add another bin.
A: Thanks for your request! Both types of bulk peanut butter and bulk almond butter are all extremely popular with many of our Owners, so it’s not feasible to replace any of those options with sunflower seeds at this time. We don’t have sufficient space currently to add a 4th grinder at either store, although it’s a good idea that I’ll keep in mind for the future—especially if we receive more requests like yours. In the meantime, we sell several different brands of very high quality jarred sunflower seed butter in our grocery department. Thanks again for writing! –Megan Minnick, Purchasing Director
Q: When will you keep the promise you made way back when never to put a car driveway to Jenifer? We want it closed now. It’s dangerous for peds and bikes and increases motorized traffic on Jenifer St.
A: The Co-op has no intention of closing the driveway at this time. –Anya Firszt, General Manager
Q: Oh come on! After that b*lls@%t with the sock puppets and the “hilarious” fake letters in the April Co-op Reader, it’s pretty clear what “my” co-op thinks about “its” owners—at least those who bother to comment. I won’t make that mistake again! Adios, losers!
A: Thank you for sharing your concerns with us and we apologize for any confusion we may have caused. The sock puppet performances at Mother Fools Coffeehouse are independently produced by the Sockrates Sock Puppet Carnival of Morals and Logic. The troupe did not work with Willy Street Co-op in creating the performance pieces; they were created independently. With regard to the April Reader, the only April Fools spoof was the cover itself; the rest of the content was real. We genuinely value our Owners (many of us, including myself, are Owners too). We also enjoy opportunities for our community to laugh with one another, which I believe was the spirit of our April Fools Reader cover. –Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: Buy a Geiger counter and check for radioactivity of foods. Already had one experience with radioactive organic peanuts from [a competitor].
A: Thanks for the idea, and I hope you shared your peanut experience with [a competitor] themselves. We work closely with our vendors and distributors and hold them accountable for ensuring that the food they provide us is safely produced and safe to consume. In the rare instances our vendors or our staff discover that a compromised or unsafe product has made it to our shelves, we utilize an internal recall process to pull product, produce signage in store and online to alert customers, and notify all Owners with up-to-date contact information.
–Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Fairly priced goods
Q: Your mission statement declares that you provide “fairly priced goods” to serve the needs of the Owners. I have to question this when I see how you have dramatically raised the prices on most of your hot deli items to $8.49 per lb. in the wake of the remodeling, a drastic inflation of prices on many hot deli items by 60% to over 100%! This arbitrary, not market-based, uniform raising of all these item prices to $8.49/lb. seems unfair, contrary to your mission and even unethical, because the remodeling is used as an excuse. As a result, I now boycott all hot deli items except those which were priced $8.49/lb. or higher before the remodeling. You are losing sales to this customer/Owners.
A: Thanks for writing in. The reprice that accompanied the opening of the self-serve hot bar cut both ways. Some items came up and some came down in price. I understand the frustration over increases on certain items that may have been favorites and I’m sorry for that hard change. Please know that the change was not arbitrary. The nature of the bar is a flat price per lb. for customer convenience when mixing foods on a plate, and is rooted in the market in that we charge in line with our nearest competition with a full-service hot bar despite the organic content (and hence cost of production) on ours being much higher. Thanks for writing in. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
Q: Just wanted to say that you are all doing an amazing job during the remodel! Every time we come in, everything’s a little different + rearranged, but the staff are their same 100% helpful + friendly selves + doing everything to keep things running smoothly. So as a result, we’ve felt 0% inconvenienced for these past few months. How do you do it? Whatever your organizational magic is, we notice + appreciate it—thank you!
A: Thank you very much! Our staff has been working very hard, indeed, to keep things running as smoothly as possible during renovation at Willy East, and we appreciate the recognition. I have passed this on through internal channels to make sure everyone sees your praise!We are excited to see the remodel complete for you to enjoy. –Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: Thank you for hiring union electricians! One more reason to love my coop!
A: Thanks for the support! We can’t take all the credit for this one, many thanks also goes to Vogel Brothers Building Company, our union contractor, who hires union whenever possible. –Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: I did not vote for or support this remodel… I have to say it seems to be going on forever. I cannot imagine the improvements will be worth the disruption to me personally. I only hope our employees gain a great deal from it, that would be a silver lining… Just felt I needed to say it again.
A: Thank you for making your voice heard. We know not everyone voted for the remodel, but we are proceeding as per the wishes of the majority of Owners who did vote. The remodel was scheduled to last 10 months and so far we are pleased to be on schedule. Our staff is working very hard to make this as smooth a process as possible and we appreciate the support from Ownership we have received. Some amenities staff will enjoy after the remodel include an additional staff bathroom, reduced numbers of staff working in basement cubicles, more space to work and have private meetings, a larger receiving area and more. We are looking forward to the benefits and hope that once the renovation is over you too will enjoy the new changes. If there is anything we can do to make your shopping experience more enjoyable in the meantime, please do not hesitate to ask. –Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Ours vs. Yours
Q: Interesting choice of works on the entry sign “OUR remodel of YOUR store.” I hope you make efforts (in the future) to turn “OUR” profits into lowering food costs—isn’t the A: purpose of “cooperative.”
A: Thank you for writing and my apologies for not responding sooner. The purpose of a cooperative is to meet the needs of its Owners. Sometimes it is about lowering food costs, and we are very diligent about passing on the best prices to our customers possible. There are other Owner needs too, such as making sure that the store is clean, safe, welcoming, and uses its space to its maximum benefits. The remodel did not have an effect on food costs; our remodel was paid for the same way we pay for our other assets: with a combination of debt and equity. We currently operate on a sound financial basis, which means that we do not need to increase the amount of profit we make to pay down debt over time. –Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooerative Services