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!
Q: Please come out with a Casein Free/Gluten Free List! It is very hard to shop when you have to look at all the ingredients. Thank you!
A: Thanks to popular demand and the hard work of our staff, your wish for a Gluten Free List was already fulfilled this past year. Copies are available at the Owner Resources areas in each location and are available for download at www.willystreet.coop/issues-and-information. The list is updated annually, and so you will still need to double-check your labels. Casein is not the same as gluten, the molecular structure is different. If you have an allergy or intolerance to casein, you will definitely need to continue doing your research thoroughly.
It is true, reading labeling slows down the shopping experience, but it is also the very best way to ensure that you are meeting your personal diet and philosophical needs. We encourage all of our shoppers to be proactively informed about their food, and ingredient lists are one of the best ways to accomplish this. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services.
Q: Would Willy Street east consider renting parking spaces after 9:00 PM during Emergency Snow removal for its neighbors and donating the proceeds to the CHIP program? It would serve your neighbors by providing difficult to find parking. To accommodate your needs the cars could be required to be removed by 7AM. Thank you.
A: Willy East currently allows complimentary overnight parking on the west side of the lot (near the fire department). You are welcome to park there, so long as your vehicle is moved by 9:30am. Due to very early morning deliveries and needing to keep the parking lot cleared of snow as well, the rest of the lot is posted for no overnight parking (between the hours of 10:00pm and 7:30am). Co-op staff does enforce these rules, and for more information, please visit www.willystreet.coop/parking-willy-street-co-op. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: Your staff have such great recipes—you should put together a collection of them for owners to take home!
A: Such a nice compliment. Thank you so much for enjoying our food selection! Many of our recipes are posted on our website already. You can find them at www.willystreet.coop/recipe. We also fulfill recipe requests for our Owners. Fill out a Customer Comment card noting your Owner number, the recipe that you are interested in, and the address or email address where you would like the recipe sent. You can also make the request on our website here: www.willystreet.coop/contact_us. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: I grew up on Willy St. & would wander into the co-op in awe at the selection of foods. Our family never bought anything because we didn’t have the money & ate more mainstream foods. I didn’t understand it at the time, the bins, the way the co-op operated but loved the smell the feeling of coming into the store. Funny a store can do that. Now my main source of food is the co-op! The exposure early on was a building block. Thank you for not kicking out a wandering kid in your store even way back in the mid 1980s!
A: Thank you so much for your kind reflection! We’re so happy to hear you came to the Co-op at such an early age, even just to window-shop and get ideas for later. Clearly it made a positive impression. We are always looking for ways to improve how we can communicate that our food, especially the food in the bulk bins that you speak of, can be affordable with some creativity. If you happen to know any current families who need ideas on how to shop affordably, please have them contact us; we are happy to help! -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Bring back the cheese
Q: Please bring back the Danish Havarti. The other stuff is nowhere near as good. It isn’t real Havarti. It is just a mild cheese. It tastes like brick cheese, not Havarti.
A: Due to popular demand, we will be bringing Arla imported Danish Havarti back to our case at East. –Stuart Mammel, Cheese Coordinator–East
Q: I would love the option to get an all-leafy greens juice like kale/spinach, or with parsley… possible? Thanks!
A: Leafy greens have very little water content; therefore they require a base liquid to make the greens into a juice drink. You are welcome to request water as your base instead of one of our featured base options. –Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East
Q: We get 10¢ for each outside bag. Why don’t we get a discount for reuse of vegetable bags?
A: Thank you for taking the time to write. Unfortunately at this juncture, we have no plans to offer a discount for reused produce bags, however, customers are always more than welcome to reuse them to help keep our supply costs low and minimize the production of more plastic bags. At some point in the future, we will be reviewing our bag discount program and will take Owners’ suggestions into account. –Jesse Thurber, Assistant Front End Manager–East
Q: I have, for now, two concerns/questions regarding the remodel project at Willy East.
1) As a bicycle shopper with a trailer it was nice having bike parking space reserved for just those of us with trailers close to the store. However, most of the time, non-trailer bicyclists (including a worker one time) either ignored the posted signs, didn’t see them or just didn’t care. Sometimes I would point it out to them that those spaces were for those of us with bike trailers which I didn’t always like doing. So what will happen? Will there be bike trailer parking spaces only and if so, how can it be further enforced? Or will I have to continue pointing out something that I have no authority to enforce?
2) A worker who wasn’t sure about the remodeling project seemed to imply as if some of the canned and other groceries in the pre-packaged aisles will be lost after the project is complete. True or will the current inventory stay pretty much the same? Thank you for reading this and any replies.
A: The remodel will include space for bike trailers. We won’t have them during the entryway phase, but we will after that’s complete. We expect both patrons and staff to respect the courtesy signage that suggests that those spaces are reserved for bike trailers, but we also expect that there will always be a few people who will not pay attention.
Our remodel focuses on an expanded cheese section, a Deli hot bar, a more conveniently located Juice Bar, and a meat counter. This means we will have smaller grocery and wellness sections, and so we are condensing our inventory. We are using this opportunity to remove slow selling products and to look at our overall product mix. We will definitely bring products back that have a lot of popular demand. After construction, we will have more space in the center store, and we’re planning to use the extra space to bring in some exciting new products.
We are always happy to special order any product that is available to us through our distributor. Please visit the Customer Service desk for details. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
a couple nice thank yous
Madison Outreach Ministry
The staff, volunteers and clients of MOM want to thank you for bringing to light the hard choices that often have to be made when you don’t have the resources to make ends meet (Dawn Matlak’s “What We Want Our Food to Be,” January 2014). Everyday decisions, such as how to spend limited resources in a way that you know will fill an empty stomach or keep a stable roof over your family’s head, are being made right here in this community. MOM is thankful for the members of the Willy Street Co-op for their continued support of the food programs that MOM operates. For more information on how you can get involved visit us at momhelps.org. -Al Ripp, Executive Director, Middleton Outreach Ministry
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who last year donated their patronage funds to CHIP. As chair of the CHIP Committee at Community Shares of Wisconsin, I want to tell you how much we all appreciate your generosity. Another thank you in advance to anyone who decides to donate their patronage funds to CHIP this year too! Sincerely, Kelly Forman, Midwest Environmental Advocates