Q: Are you certain that your turmeric is free of contaminants?
A: Thank you for asking this question. We get our turmeric from Frontier Co-op in Norway, IA. They have a complete lab and test and inspect each shipment. They are very strict with quality control. If the turmeric were received contaminated, they would not accept it or sell it as organic. Thanks again for your question. –Jim Green, Grocery Buyer– East
Q: Gluten-free Garlic Lover’s Pasta. You read my mind!
A; Glad you’re enjoying the made-without-gluten version of this long-time favorite! -Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
VIDEO DROP BOX
Q: So glad that the video drop-off box is no longer protruding into the natural pathway to front door such that it’s a hazard to one’s arm or shoulder! Please if it will still be located on the premises do NOT place in a way that its pointy edges protrude! Thank you!
A: The video drop box was re- moved so construction at the front of the store could happen. At this point we don’t know where it will end up when construction is completed (it is currently in the Commons at East). We do know that the box will be reinstalled because many Co-op Owners value the convenience of being able to drop their video rentals here. –Jim Jirous, Maintenance Manager–East
Q: I have had extremely low vision my entire life. First, I would like to compliment you on the size of the typeface you use in the Reader. It is much larger than you typically find in newspapers and magazines today. However, I have experienced some significant challenges at the west side store. In the bulk section, the names of the product on the dispensers are very difficult to read. In most cases, I will know what I want and can ask for assistance. A greater challenge is when I am doing general shopping and looking around and comparing prices. I have found the prices on the edges of shelves much smaller than those in other grocery stores. Even some of the other signage could use a larger font or greater contrast. I’m wondering if the Wisconsin Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired, being a beneficiary of CHIP, would be willing to provide recommendations. I would be willing to provide my suggestions, but don’t consider myself an expert in the field.
A: Thank you for your thoughtful email about this important issue. You are not alone; others, including myself, have also reported challenges reading our signage. I am happy to report that we will be improving our Deli and Juice Bar signage in both stores, and that we hope to have the changes ready fairly soon. We also have been talking extensively about a longer-term project to make format- ting changes to price tags and also to offer some technology-based op- tions for assisting with comparison- shopping. Currently, the technology we use to create our price tags would require an entire revamp of our shelf tag format to increase the font size, and so this is a project that will take some time and patience to complete. In the meantime, we really appreciate the input you provided, and we will certainly take larger fonts and better color contrast into consideration when we start implementing changes. We may also take you up on your suggestion to contact the Wisconsin Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired when we discuss means to improve overall visual accessibility in the stores. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
ELECTRIC VEHICLE PARKING
Q: Could you please (please please) make one spot “electric vehicle parking only” at your recharging station? I understand that it is located conveniently to the front of the store, but the fact that the current sign merely suggests people park elsewhere means both spots are nearly always filled. If one spot was electric vehicles only, this problem could be lessened. It’s an awesome opportunity for the Co-op to support this new technology, so please support those trying to use it! Thank you!
A: The signage we have posted is as forceful as we can be about the issue due to other stresses on the lot. Someday there will be charging stations in more convenient locations and simply more available overall. We’re looking forward to that day with you. –Wynston Estis, Operations Manager
Q: Good idea to generate receipts to text numbers or email to save paper! Some places offer this “option” already! Thanks!
A: Good news: the Willy Street Co-op IT department has successfully tested the feature of emailing receipts to our Owners! We have recently rolled this feature out in concert with our Communications department,
and you can use it now. Thank you for taking the time to complete the Customer Comment form, and for being an Owner. Please let me know if you have any questions. Best regards, James Phetteplace, Information Systems Manager
Q: If the Co-op would sell some bakery products made with stevia/brown rice syrup, they’d sell as well or better than Lily’s dark chocolate made-with-stevia cacao bars. Try it (for the diabetics as well as others). Thanks for consideration!
A: Hi and thanks for writing in. At this time, the only foodservice-friendly stevia source is the product of Cargill corp and we are awaiting the entry of a smaller company with a less refined product into the food- service marketplace.–Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
Q: This is a request to stock more produce from local farms. For example, fruits from Future Fruits do not seem to be available, even though I have seen that theyhave fruit at the winter market. It is important to me that our Co-op contribute to a growing local food economy even if it costs revenue. Thank you!
A: Thanks for your comments! Willy Street Co-op is very dedicated and committed to growing the local food economy. The produce department does our best to source local product whenever possible. In 2013, West produce alone purchased nearly $4,000,000 of produce from local farms! In the peak-growing season, nearly 40% of our purchases were from local farms. Spring is finally here, so look for more purple signs (indicating local product) on our produce shelves. Unfortunately we don’t have plans to carry Future Fruit at this time. If we receive numerous customer comments, we may reconsider. Thanks again, Brandy Schroeder, Produce Manager–West
Q: I want to clear up something...Just because we are VEGAN, it does not mean we are trying to starve. The vegan sandwich has no food on it. The protein is put on like a condiment like mayo or mustard. At least make it as thick as a piece of cheese or meat. I would pay more or what- ever if that is the case. Maybe hummus is more expensive than cheese or meat these days. You tell us. Do you want people to buy the sandwich two times or what? Just saying.
A: I’m not sure which sandwich you had, but I’m assuming it was our vegan half-sandwich in the grab and go section. I’ll bring the need to ensure correct amounts to our Kitchen Manager’s attention. Hope you enjoy your next sandwich with us! –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
Q: I just wanted to comment on what a great job you all are doing staying organized during the remodel. Good work!
A: Thank you. It’s been quite a puzzle for all involved, but our contractors and staff have worked hard to plan the best path through we could. We sure appreciate how understanding our customers are being! –Dan Frost, Store Manager– East