Q: Hey can you let me know which eggs you sell that are soy free as well as being pasture raised/grass fed and either organic or essentially organic such that they aren’t certified but don’t use any gmos or antibiotics? I have some allergies but want to be able to find a brand of super high quality eggs that don’t cause allergic reactions. Thanks:)
A: Hope your day is going well!! We carry local organic soy-free eggs from M & M Farms. They have a jumbo size and an ungraded size as well. -Dean Kallas, Grocery Category Manager
Climate change donations
Q: INSTEAD OF (OR IN ADDITION TO) BEING ASKED TO DONATE TO [INSERT CITY HERE] RELIEF, HOW ABOUT DONATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION INSTEAD?
A: Thanks for your suggestion. When we donate to disaster relief, we do so for a limited time, and our goal is to provide immediate support to victims of the disaster. It is also the only time that we open up our registers to any organizations that are not working directly in or with our locality. We agree that climate change mitigation is important, and when customers donate to Community CHIP, our year-round register campaign that benefits Community Shares of Wisconsin, the program supports a variety of local organizations who are engaged in climate change efforts. Examples of Community Shares of Wisconsin organizations working to raise awareness and/or mitigate climate change include and are not limited to: 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, Clean Wisconsin, Madison Audubon Society, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Physicians for Social Responsibility, River Alliance of Wisconsin, Rock River Coalition, Sierra Club Foundation, Sustain Dane, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and more. For a full list of organizations that are members of Community Shares of Wisconsin, please visit www.communityshares.com/member-nonprofits/nonprofits-list/nonprofits-list-by-category/. You may also donate to specific CSW organizations directly from their website. Please let me know if there is anything else we may do for you. -Kirsten Moore, Cooperative Services Director
Sushi for breakfast
Q: This morning I had a random breakfast craving for sushi! I stopped in Willy St. East but the sushi was not in the case yet (which is totally expected given the early hour) so I asked the deli staff when the sushi is normally put out. The staff member got the sushi chef and she asked me what kind of roll I wanted and then proceeded to make it for me! Super thoughtful and kind—your staff rock! They totally go above and beyond and they made my morning :)
A: Awesome! Thanks so much, it made my morning to read this, and I’m glad we were able to help you with your hankering! I’ve passed along your gratitude to our Deli at East and Shizen Sushi. Have a great week! -Kirsten Moore, Cooperative Services Director
Bring back the scones
Q; Please bring back the lemon blueberry GF Scones! (P.S. I don’t like the cinnamon raisin ones :( —they don’t seem to bake as well either.)
A: Thanks for the feedback, we’ll take your suggestion about the blueberry scones coming back and we’ll take a look at the cinnamon raisin recipe. Your timing was great because we’re looking at expanding our GF line. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to let us know! -Jamie Acocks, Kitchen Director
Q: I know that the original Willy Street has long been a collection site for used batteries. * Is it still? *Can they also be taken to the Middleton store? Thanks!
A: Thanks for asking! We stopped accepting batteries for recycling at all of our locations awhile back due to changes in Federal regulations regarding the transport of certain types of batteries. You may visit the City of Madison website to find their drop-off locations for household batteries at www.cityofmadison.com/streets/recycling/batteries.cfm. Please let us know if there is anything else we may do for you! -Kirsten Moore, Cooperative Services Director
Q: I was at Willy East today (Tuesday) and didn’t find a spot on the shelf for Scharffen Berger 99% Unsweetened Dark Chocolate. There was a slot for 70% bars and one of a lesser percentage than that, but no 99%. Do you still carry the 99%—as you had for so long? ‘Twas was a wonderful source for an extremely high-percentage chocolate (while at an affordable price) with only a touch of vanilla added. I’m wondering where an alternative might be found if you no longer carry it. You have chunks of pretty high-percentage chocolate nearby on that shelf (in plastic bags), but with added ingredients that I don’t want. I’m looking for a nearly 100% chocolate…something one might think one could find these days in a marketplace rife with chocolate interest. Thank you.
A: We cut this product after experiencing routine supply issues. It is available to us only through one of our distributors and we unfortunately cannot get it from them right now. We can certainly see about bringing it back once it becomes available to us again. Sorry for the inconvenience, it is beyond our control at this time. If we can’t get this specific brand/product back in we will make a point to look for a like product. I appreciate you letting us know what you are looking for! Please let me know if you have any other questions! -Liz Patterson, Assistant Grocery Manager
Q: Last year we got a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, and it was fantastic. Won’t be in town for Thanksgiving this year. Do you have availability for fresh turkeys at Christmastime? If so, is pre-order necessary?
A: Hi, thank you for your inquiry. Glad to hear you liked your turkey last year! Unfortunately all fresh turkeys are raised to be slaughtered for Thanksgiving only. None of my turkey suppliers are raising any for the Christmas holiday. I will have plenty of frozen left (open stock, first come first serve although you are welcome to place a preorder at any time if you’d like, just be sure to tell the meat dept it’s for Xmas pickup) but fresh isn’t doable I’m afraid. Sorry about that! Have a nice day. -Anna Giberts, North Meat Manager
Q: For a number of weeks there has not been a menu posting for Willy St East on Saturdays (and I think Sundays). It would be nice if they returned to the web site. Thanks.
A: I apologize for the interruption in our online menus getting posted. Once in a while the cooks forget to update it and we have been experiencing a glitch that did not import the menus onto the website. It looks like this last Saturday it was a case of the cooks forgetting to update the menu. I will let our Deli Manager know. Thanks for mentioning it, and have a nice week! -Brendon Smith, Communications Director
Find a co-op
Q: I will soon be moving to St. Louis, MO. I will miss Madison dearly, and one of the things I will miss most is Willy Street Co-op. Chances are very slim I’ll ever find a co-op I value or trust as much as Willy Street, but I’m wondering if you have any lists of co-ops, or better yet, can recommend a co-op in the greater St. Louis area. Thank you to all the staff for bringing such quality food and community to Madison. The work you do and services you provide will be greatly missed. All the Best.
A: Thanks for writing and for your continued co-op support! National Cooperative Grocer has a great “Find a Co-op” link on their public webpage at strongertogether.coop/all-coops that shows all their member Co-ops. It looks like the closest NCG Co-op is Neighborhood Co-op Grocery two hours from St. Louis in Carbondale, Ill. I was not able to find any other St. Louis food co-ops that are currently open using a basic Google search, but I was able to find an independent membership grocery called City Greens Market that you might be interested in supporting. They’re a membership organization, and so they take an annual fee instead of allowing you to purchase an equity share, which is different than how co-ops operate. However, their mission looks great and worth checking out regardless!
Q: For many years, I have bought lots of your raisins at the WEST store. I have not been able to buy your raisins for the last few months. They now are all stuck together in one clump in each bag, which does not work for making raisin bread. I happened to be by the Willy Street East store and saw that the bags of raisins there were not stuck into 1 clump, so I bought many bags. So I am wondering why there are good raisins at the East store, but only raisins stuck together at the West. I certainly hope this situation could be changed. Thanks.
A: Thank you for the comment. We have finally identified the problem with the West side raisins sticking together. The East side packs most of theirs on-site. The Production Kitchen packs all the rest and they ship out to the sites from there. It turns out that we had a much higher humidity in our packing area, which was causing our packed raisins to warm up slightly and then stick together. To remedy this, we have increased air conditioning in that area of our facility. We hope that you will notice the difference. Best, Jamie Acocks, Kitchen Director
Milk in plastic
Q: Would like to express my disappointment that Organic Valley milk is now in plastic. Please pass along.
A: I will definitely pass your feedback on to the representative who brings the product and to our grocery manager. We only received information on this change in packaging after the product arrived. The information we were sent speaks to the ease of the grip on the new packaging and an attractive label and it is “a good size for family.” Please let me know if there is anything else I may do for you. Best, Katie O’Connell-Jones, Co-op Services
Q: I think the charging station for electric vehicles should be free. It’s free at Festival, Hy-Vee and Kohl’s, and these places don’t promote environmental responsibility like the Co-op. Thank you.
A: Our charging stations are owned by MG&E. They paid to place them and maintain them. I can pass on your suggestion to our facilities director and see if bringing in our own charging stations as an option. Thank you for your feedback and suggestions! –Lindsey Hardy, Store Director—West
Cheers to Bill
Q: Cheers to Bill in Catering! I kept changing my sandwich order that I picked up today (ahh—meetings with many moving parts) and he always go back to me quickly with a confirmation and a smile. Also, really appreciate the 20% discount Willy offers to sustainable ag non-profits. This is an order for a MOSES project—You enable us to stretch those non-profit budgets further. Thanks!
A: Thank you so much for writing in and letting us know of your positive experience. I will certainly pass along your kind words to Bill! –Katie O’Connell-Jones, Co-op Services
Plastic bag collection
Q: Please resume collecting plastic bags in Middleton. Middleton residents may be able to put them in their recycling bins, but MSN residents can’t and I’m guessing we represent a significant percentage of your patrons.
A: Thank you for your input. The City of Madison does allow residents to recycle plastic bags with their regular home recycling. The City requires bags to be bagged together inside of a plastic grocery bag to limit the size. Just tie it off and toss it in your City of Madison recycling bin. For more info, visit the City website: www.cityofmadison.com/streets/recycling/plasticbag.cfm. -Jim Jirous, Facilities Director
Willy West Exit Reminders
Q: Reminder signs for exiting onto Elmwood—Residential area: Speed limit 25mpg. Watch for bicycles. Watch for pedestrians. Watch for kids of all ages at play.
A: These are great reminders for everyone using the back driveway! We need to make sure we are looking out for each other and I appreciate your input! –Lindsey Hardy, Store Director—West
North electric vehicle charging
Q: Any timeframe for North EV/car charging stations?
A: Thanks for your question. The property owners are working with MG&E on installing an EV charging station. I wish I had more info for you but we have not heard any recent updates. Sincerely, Jeff Dempsey, Assistant Store Manager—North