Q: I think it would be great if members could give a gift membership to a deserving family on the north side for a new store. I don’t know anyone there I could gift it to—it would be anonymous. Thanks!
A: Thanks for the suggestion. My apologizes for not responding sooner. We are unable to collect donations for anonymously gifting Ownerships to other customers. We suggest that people either give the gift of Ownership to people that they know, or that they donate to organizations that are collecting gift Ownerships for their clients who may be in need. I am currently aware that the Kennedy Heights Community Center on the north side is collecting donations for gift Ownerships. You may contact them by visiting their website at www.khcommunitycenter.org/contact.html. Please let me know if I may assist you further. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
More vegan items please
Q: Please carry more vegan items that are just made without cheese or eggs instead of fake cheese. I know many vegans miss cheese but most that I know—including me—think it is nasty (the fake stuff).
Also, my wife hates cilantro and raw onion—any way to increase deli items that do not have these ingredients (or other onion-like things like scallions). Thanks!
A: Thank you for the feedback, although I’m going to admit that I am not sure how to address your main concern with regards to the use of the fake cheese. We really only have one product that we use the vegan cheese on regularly—the vegan breakfast sandwich. Are there specific products you’d like to see that we currently are not offering? We love suggestions from people who have favorite things that we don’t currently offer! It helps us expand our menu and if it further helps us meet the needs and wants of our customers, we all win!
Likewise, the request for more dishes without raw onions and cilantro—we will certainly make that suggestion to our Kitchen Manager so when we develop our new menu for fall, that is something we take into consideration. Thank you for yourfeedback! –Julia Gengenbach, Assistant Deli Manager–East
Q: I think it is wrong to advertise taking bike benefits then to not offer them on weekends. Do you not believe in people biking on weekends?!?
A: Thanks for writing your comment. If you came on the weekend expecting to receive the benefit, I’m sorry you were disappointed. Please let me know where you saw we offered Bike Benefits without clarifying that it was on weekdays only and I’ll get it rectified. Currently we do only offer Bike Benefits on the weekdays; a few years ago we only offered it on the weekends. We aren’t able to offer it 7 days a week, and we’re trying weekdays vs. weekends to see which best helped to reduce congestion in our parking lot. Have a nice week! –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications
Q: Cashier Cate was great!! As a Community Shares of Wisconsin Board member, I love to CHIP. Cate gave a perfect explanation of what CHIP and CSW is to the customer in front of me in line. Thank you, Cate!
A: Thank you for the positive feedback about Cate! I will pass this message on to her right away! Thanks, Acacia Rank, Interim Front End Manager–East
Q: I’ve been dissatisfied with many of the deli dishes such as chicken salads, broccoli salads and such. The people that prepare them seem to leave pieces so large they must be cut to be eaten. To compound that issue, not every customer has a full set of teeth to mash these large chunks up. Please take a few extra minutes to assure more bite-size pieces.
A: Our chef, Chantell, has been hardat work training a whole gaggle of new cooks. This is a commitment of hers. I will give her your feedback. Thank you! –Patrick Schroeder, Prepared Foods Category Manager
More vegan meals
Q: More vegan meals for the Fete please. Everyone can eat the vegan/GF, the math just works out.
A: Thanks for sharing your request! I make adjustments to the number of vegan meals each year based on how quickly (or not) we go through them the previous year. This year I added 200 vegan meals to get to 1500, and I’ll likely increase that number again next year. While everyone can eat a vegan meal in a way that not everyone can eat a meat or vegetarian meal, I have received repeated feedback that not everyone wants one, or this one. I also have concerns about our ability to serve 5,000 of just the Bunky’s meal. As we plan for next year, we will definitely keep this request in mind. Have a nice rest of your week! -Brendon Smith, Director of Communications
Q: Please have an extensive cheese selection at Willy North.
A: We very much hope to build toward a Cheese department at Willy North that is as extensive as our other two stores. However, the cheese departments at Willy East and Willy West both require quite a bit of dedicated labor to cut and wrap the wide array of cheeses those sites carry. For budgetary reasons, we have not been able to staff the Willy North Cheese department adequately to maintain that sort of wide selection, at least not right away.
Though the selection may be smaller at first, our plan is to carry the top sellers from our other two sites, and to build toward a more extensive selection as sales increase and based on customer demand. If there are particular cheeses that you’d like to see at Willy North, I’d love to hear what they are!
Thanks again for your request, I hope to see you at Willy North! Best, Megan Minnick, Director of Purchasing
Q: I didn’t get to the Co-op to get a ticket for food, but I did have time to get to Central Park for the meeting. My question is about other food vendors, the vendors said that they were NOT ALLOWED to serve food until 7pm because of the Co-op meeting and party? Is that true? If so why? The lines waiting for food started about 6, and by 7 were incredibly long. Making people wait, while Co-op members walked around eating, seemed rather rude, inconsiderate at best.
A: Thanks for writing to us with your concern. That is true—we asked vendors to not serve food until 7pm this year. In the past we had asked them to not serve food until 8pm, when the Annual Meeting & Party was done, as they are not really part of our event but part of La Fete—their original agreed-upon purpose is to serve food after we’re done. Last year and this year we moved the time earlier, to 7pm, in recognition that more people were coming to the event around that time. When we have our meeting with La Fete to review this year, we’ll discuss moving their opening time even earlier.
Thanks again for sharing your concern, and I hope that you have a nice weekend. –Brendon Smith, Director of Communications
Q: I just drove from my home in southern Fitchburg to the Willy East to pick up my meal ticket for tomorrow’s annual meeting. I do not get to attend that often due to work responsibilities, so I was looking forward to going this year. I was very disappointed to find out the meal tickets were sold out. I think there should be an online or phone system for reserving tickets instead of me having to drive twice to your area—once to pick up a ticket (that I did not even get this year) and another time to attend the meeting. Thank you for considering this for future years. Are there any meal tickets ever available if any are returned before tomorrow?
A: Thanks for sharing your concern. I’m sorry that you made the trip only to find out that we were out of tickets. We ran out just yesterday, so you were very close—I’m not sure if that makes things better or worse. I posted on Facebook and Twitter last night that we were out and again this morning to try to help prevent Owners from making trips like yours.
I really like the idea of an online tally. I think once we have our perpetual inventory system set up, we’ll be able to show—in real time—how many tickets are left. I’m hoping that we are able to have that in place next year. A reservation system would create its own challenges—keeping track of which tickets were for which Owners and then having to expire reservations at some point to free them up again would be beyond our current capabilities.
Owners who had gotten a ticket but are now unable to attend may drop off tickets at Customer Service—I made the request on social media this morning—but we can’t guarantee any will show up. -Brendon Smith, Director of Communications