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Customer Comments

GMO Sugar
I noticed that you carry a brand of bagged sugar that is listed as “sugar” and not “cane sugar.” This is very likely from genetically modified sugar beets, as companies using pure cane sugar would advertise as such. This is also an important distinction when “sugar” is listed as an ingredient in other packaged foods. Would you consider removing this sugar from your shelves in keeping with the cooperative’s goal of natural foods and truth in labeling?

A: Thanks for writing! I’m assuming that the brand you are referring to is the Surefine brand sugar? It’s true that this product may very well be made of GMO sugar beets. Because companies have no legal obligation to label GMOs, there is no real way to be sure.

We carry products such as this because we have clear call from our Owners (through their purchases) that they would like to buy it at the Co-op. I’m assuming this is because some people want a lower cost alternative.
We do have a boycott policy that could come into play for products like this. If we receive comments from more than 1% of our Owners regarding a product that they would like to see us boycott,we will then open a formal comment period, which may lead to an official boycott. Your comment will be counted toward that 1%.

In the meantime, we continue to support efforts both locally and nationally to require food manufacturers to label GMOs in their food. We also offer many pure cane sugar alternatives, many of which are also organic and fair trade, both in the bulk department and in our packaged grocery department.

I hope that helps answer your concern. Thanks again for taking the time to write! Best Regards, Megan Minnick, Director of Purchasing

I Love the Co-op
Q: This sort of thing—the email re: an overcharge (below)—is an example of exactly why I love the coop. We’re all so lucky to have access to such a wonderful business environment—and that doesn’t even begin to talk about the products!

“I’m writing you because we experienced technical difficulties at our cash registers when you were shopping yesterday 9/2/2015. The registers were not deducting for our Co-op Deals sales, and as a result, you were overcharged on your receipt. Please visit Customer Service at either location when convenient to receive a refund for our error. Thank you, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
“We hope to see you again at the stores soon!
Thanks, Matt McHugh (Flow of Goods Manager)”

A: Thank you so much for your kind words. –Liz Wermcrantz, Editor

vegetarian vitamin d
Q: Do you carry a vegetarian vitamin d product whose concentration is ‘certified’? I see labels indicating that the product is certified organic and/or gluten free. But, I am looking for a manufacturer that assures that it contains the concentration indicated on the label. Thanks.

A: Great question—I emailed Garden of Life (our primary vegetarian vitamin D3 option) and asked what assurances they have and this is their reply:

“Garden of Life has Third Party Testing at every step of their processing. Vitashine is the company that creates the vegan D3.

“Our QC team validates what is claimed by Vitashine, and we send to a third party testing facility, usually Covance as far as I know.”

I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.
-Angela Pohlman, Category Manager–Wellness

Laughing giraffe
Q: Do you carry Laughing Giraffe Snackaroons?

A: Thanks for contacting us regarding this product availability. We do not currently carry the Laughing Giraffe brand Snackaroons. We do however offer CocoRoons from Wonderfully Raw. -Patrick Humiston, Grocery Manager, East

Vegan pizza
Q: Hope your day is going well! I bought my new favorite pizza, the Vegan Eggplant Tahini Pizza today for lunch, and it’s just not very good. The eggplant is super thick and very undercooked. When it cooled a bit they became little cork coasters. :/

The tahini was also put on before the toppings, which made it dry out a bunch.

Up until now it’s been consistently awesome, so I thought I’d pass along my experience! Thanks for listening.

A: Thank you for taking the time to write some feedback, Stephanie! That’s actually my number one favorite pizza too! I hope you’ll try it again and that you’ll continue to give us feedback if it’s not any better! Please stop up at customer service next time you’re in for a refund on that sub-par pizza. Have an awesome day! -Katherine Kornely, Assistant Deli Manager, East

Back issues of the Reader
Q: I’m wondering if back issues of the Reader are available online. I couldn’tfind any but the current issue—at least on the mobile site. I would switch to digital if I knew I could also reference back issues.

The Reader is well-done and always interesting! There is always useful info, and I’m always interested to read the letters. I’m always astounded to see how critical some people choose to be. It seems rather out of place in an institution like Willy St Coop, where everyone works hard, is invested in doing good, and where tolerance is a founding principle.

At least it inspires me to voice my positive thoughts when I can, to counterbalance the loud minority. :-)

A: Thank you so much for your message! We are glad you enjoy the Reader. You can find back issues on our website here: Let me know if you’re looking for anything in particular. Thanks again! -Liz Wermcrantz, Editor

Layout change
Q: My Reader arrived today, and as usual, I’m plowing though it with pleasure. I was wondering if you’d consider a layout change. I have, for nearly 20 years, ripped off the last few pages so I can keep all the great recipe suggestions. Perhaps saving newspaper clippings is old-school with all the online recipe search options, but I love it and continue to tear them out and file them each month, and go back them to recreate old favorites.

It would make life MUCH easier, however, if you’d consider always including the recipes in the central pages, so those of us that like to save them could just remove that section rather than trying to rip/cut them all out (especially as you’ve now gone to 3+ pages worth in the most recent issue!).
Thanks for considering this.

A: Hi! Thanks for your suggestion about moving the recipes in the Reader. We are so glad you enjoy them and the Reader in general. That makes my day!

Unfortunately, we aren’t going to move the recipes to the center. We use that for our sales flyer. Many Owners and customers pull that from their issues to bring in to shop with them. You can, however, print them from our website if that helps (
Thanks for the idea! -Liz Wermcrantz, Editor

Battery recycling
Q: Does the store still take batteries for recycling? Thx.

A: The answer to your question is yes. There is a battery collection bucket in the Foyer at WillyEast and Willy West. It is usually located near the trash and recycling receptacles that are just past the shopping carts, on your way into the store. -Jim Jirous, Maintenance Manager, East

Ginger Medallions
Q: I would like to see the ginger medallions back in bulk bins or in larger Willy Packs. I don’t like buying them in the small bags because it’s a waste of plastic. Thank you.

A: Thank you for your comment. We have received many comments on this issue. The reason we moved the crystalized ginger medallions out of the bin is they gum up the bin quite badly, and the sugar falls off the product and must be lossed out at the purchase price. I like your idea of larger bags. We will make this change for you. Thanks again. –Jim Green, Bulk Buyer

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