Q: I wanted to check your website to see if I could finally lookup items again, but it won't let me login with my normal login and password.
A: Thanks for your message. The product listings are now available on our new e-commerce website here: https://shop.willystreet.coop. The e-commerce website has a different login from our old website. Go to the link above and go to “Login” and select “Forgot your password?” from the login screen and a temporary password will be sent to the email address we have on file for your Owner account. Contact us if you need to update your email address or run into any problems. Have a great day! -Ellie Habib, Webmaster
Q: Several months ago I asked questions for clarification regarding the Co-op's then-pending e-commerce program, and I received a very nice reply. There was one question I left out because I felt that it was too controversial. A Sunday edition of the Wisconsin State Journal recently brought up the issue and made it more complex. I'll simplify the issue and ask it this way: Is it okay for the program to serve customers who are not owners when the Co-op does not expect the program to be profitable? And this follow-up question: Does the Co-op plan to subsidize the e-commerce program with profits from the East, West, and North stores?
A: Thanks for asking. When we were quoted in the article published by the State Journal on July 31 as saying that we were not planning to make money off the program, that wasn’t meant to imply that we were planning to lose money due to offering the program. It is not designed to be a cost-center for the Co-op. We see the program as a service to the community to create greater accessibility and convenience, which is the first and foremost reason the service is not limited to Owners only. Also, in order to make this a program that breaks even as we intend it to do, it is important that we are able to provide the service to those who want it. Please note, the service fees for non-owners are higher than they are for Owners, so there is an Owner-only benefit built in to the program. Please let us know if you have other questions. Enjoy the day! -Kirsten Moore, Cooperative Services Director
Q: I usually shop at Willy west on Saturday mornings, (between 8-9 am) and while I understand product needs to be put on shelves, it seems Saturday mornings are very, very congested. Aisles are partially blocked and staff is friendly enough but after awhile it becomes frustrating. Today in particular, Sat 8/24 8:35-8-55 am was really frustrating. Staff was moving product and pallets very quickly and going around corners and entering aisles unsafely. I was almost run into by staff at least 3-5 times in the 20 minutes I was in the store. I encounter the congestion on many Saturdays and try to not let it bother my shopping experience but today was the worst it’s been in awhile and I felt it necessary to voice my complaint.
A: I really appreciate your feedback about the congestion on Saturday morning. We struggle with two large deliveries that come later than preferred every Saturday but there are things we can do to improve the experience for our customers. I am currently working with my Grocery department manager, Dave, to remind staff of safety protocols while using carts and pallet jacks on the floor. As well as exploring different staging methods for the deliveries we receive after 8am. Hopefully these changes will create a less chaotic and easier to navigate sales floor on Saturday mornings in the future. -Lindsey Hardy, West Store Director
Q: You know those organic coconuts that you sell? How do I open them to get the water from them? Any way the coop might be able to open it for me and if so for what price? (Maybe the juice bar or some other section?
A: Great question. Most folks use a heavy knife to essentially chop away the top part of the coconut to get into the interior. The flesh in the younger ones we sell is also softer and can be scooped out with a spoon. Here is a video link demonstrating the basic process (/www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFwyk4D-rBk), though there are other ways to do it that can be found with some internet research.
One other common way is to punch a hole into it using some sort of narrow object (I've seen folks use a screwdriver), and then insert a straw to drink the water through.
Unfortunately at this point, we are unable to offer any sort of in-house processing of whole produce, so we cannot cut them open, but I hope the info I've provided helps you do it! -Best, Max Wilke, Produce Manager—West
Q: My husband works at Willy st. and on multiple occasions has told me about having to unload/reload coolers during power outage events.
I was just wondering why Willy St. does not invest in back-up generators? It seems that the cost to have refrigerated trucks on hand as well as the labor needed to load/un-load coolers in the event of power outages does not offset the cost of a generator, as well as the profit that is lost of having to close the store during these times. My husband did not know why so I thought I'd write to you myself and ask. Seems like a good investment!
A: Several years ago, operations management looked into back up generators when Willy East experienced a few power outages in one summer. My recollection is that a generator was considered cost prohibitive in terms of procuring and installing the equipment as well as the daily maintenance requirements of the equipment that would be necessary to ensure the generator would fire up when we needed it to.
I am not an expert and I have only been able to do minimal, research but I am sure we would need a pretty large backup generator to power the entire store. Due to the amount of power used to run the refrigeration rack, the HVAC systems, lighting, and the rest of the store (we averaged 2,600 kwh per day in June) I am guessing it would be a prohibitively costly undertaking. Even if we tried to isolate refrigeration from the other, "nonessential" electrical needs to just protect the perishable and frozen product, it would still be a very costly and time consuming project. -Jim Jirous, Facilities Director
Q: Today I purchased some tamale pie and garlic mashed potatoes for lunch. I am sure that I have had these in the past from the co-op, but today they tasted so extraordinarily DELICIOUS that I felt the need to stop what I was doing and tell you. Please give my compliments to the chef(s) and ask them to keep doing whatever they did today, to those two dishes. Thanks!
A: Sorry it took me some time to respond to your comment. Thank you, first and foremost. I have shared your comment with our staff and we are so pleased that you enjoyed the deli offerings. I know the Production Kitchen works so hard to prepare the delicious dishes that we have on our hot bar and it is so nice to hear the kind words. I hope that you continue to enjoy the tamale pie and the mashed potatoes, and other great dishes they prepare. Have a beautiful day! -Amanda Ikens, Owner Resources Coordinator—East