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!
Gender neutral bathrooms
Q: I was appalled to read that in your east side store remodel, you now plan to have three “gender-neutral” bathrooms. You say this is due to “member input.” So here’s my question: did you solicit member input, or did you merely respond to people who complained? I’m guessing the latter, in which case it is completely ridiculous. Likely you didn’t get any comments that you really liked gender-SEPARATE bathrooms. Why would you? It’s a no-brainer. If you have the money (it’s our money after all, since we’re alleged to be “owners”) to do three bathrooms, how about this? one boys’ bathroom, one girls’ bathroom, and one gender-neutral. Women I’ve talked to don’t want to share a bathroom with men if they have a choice, and unless you are going to have urinals in all three “gender-neutral” bathrooms, your new setup will consume a lot more water. Please rethink this.
A: The input we received from Owners regarding bathrooms has been ongoing. Our decision came from Owner input we have been collecting over time as well as ongoing staff discussion as to ways we could improve this area of our store. Please note that each of the three bathrooms are three private and separate rooms, they are not stalls. No one will need to share the bathrooms with anyone else while using them. There will be no urinals in the bathrooms, and we will be furnishing each bathroom with low-flow, dual-flush toilets to conserve water. Our reason for deciding to have all three remain gender neutral are two-fold: less waiting time to use the bathroom since other rooms will be available, and fostering a consumer and workplace experience that is truly inclusive of all identities. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Q: I just learned of this movement, which is kind of a way for individual customers to “pay it forward” to the less fortunate. I’d like to suggest that we consider participating. thesuspendedcoffees.wordpress.com/participating-cafes-americas/.
A: Thank you for passing on information about the Suspended Coffee Movement. It looks like a really neat program that provides a way for people to pay for other people’s drinks who are in need. At this time, with our remodel project in the works, we are not in the position to investigate the logistics of tracking suspended beverage purchases any time soon (it’s trickier in establishments where the payment transactions do not happen right at the beverage counter). That said, it is definitely a program that our staff in Brand Management finds intriguing, and we will keep it on our radar as a possible endeavor for the future. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative Services
Coffee filter prices
Q: I have been a member since 1974. I went to buy #2 coffee filters and the cost for 40 filters is $7.26. This is not acceptable. Please remember on whose backs you are building your “legacy in the community.” Shame on you!
A: Thank you for your comment. We currently offer four different #2 coffee filters. Prices for these range from $2.99 for 100 to $7.25 for 40. The difference in price stems from what they are made from and whether they are reusable or not. I suspect, based on your comment, that you may have grabbed the Melita Bamboo Filters that do retail higher than the unbleached paper-based filters. If you purchased these and are dissatisfied, please bring them back in for a full refund. Thanks again for your comment. –Patrick Humiston, Grocery Manager–East
Air at east
Q: So sad how everyone voted to destroy the eastside coop like this. I know it’s an “improvement” to everyone else but for what it’s worth it was the only place I could find food safe for me and drive 1.5 hrs each week to shop here. Now due to construction fumes etc. I can’t even walk in without a problem, without gloves, air filters & portable purifier. Been off and on stuck in bed for weeks partly due to increasing lack of safe food sources for me. West side does not work nearly as well for me and I never seem to be able to find what I need there but at least it’s something and a lower risk than other choices.
Now on top of new material & construction fumes everyone wants to make east side just like it. I’m so saddened by this there are not words. I’m happy the co-op is thriving and the rest of the members are happy and supporting it but this long-standing member grieves the loss of her only food safe haven and fears for the future. End rant...
A: Thank you for patience while we complete our remodel, which is estimated to be a ten-month project in total. Pertaining to the air quality, we are working with Sustainability Consultant Kelly Humphrey to ensure our internal staff, contractors and subcontractors are meeting our indoor air quality management plan, which follows the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification framework and includes using zero-VOC finishes whenever possible, isolating and ventilating exhaust from the few low-VOC products used as well as machinery and other gas-fueled tools, isolating and cleaning (before and after) construction zones located in occupied spaces, and scheduling construction activities to occur only when it is most safe for the occupants.
For those who might still find shopping at East difficult, we recommend our We Shop, You Pick-Up program. You could do your shopping remotely, and pick up the groceries you ordered at the Customer Service desk. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the details of the service. You may also designate a shopper to get your groceries for you by issuing a temporary shopper card that authorizes a specific person to use your Owner number in your absence to purchase your groceries. Contact email@example.com if you would like to make those arrangements.
If there are products that you are used to purchasing, and you are unable to find them, please ask. It’s possible that the product has been moved or that it’s placed in a different area at Willy West than where it is at Willy East. For shoppers coming from out of town, we highly recommend calling ahead if you are looking for a special product. You may also order certain products by the case, even if it is one of the products that is not currently available at our stores. Contact Willy East at 608-251-6776 and Willy West at 608-284-7800 to ask about certain products.
We hope that these suggestions help make the remodel period more manageable for you, and that when the remodel is complete, you can begin to enjoy the fruits of our efforts. -Kirsten Moore, Director of Cooperative
New turkey case
Q: You need a new turkey case at Willy East. The shelves are a major PITA to dig through!
A: Yes we certainly agree! A new means of merchandising turkeys is planned for our renovation. This frustration should be behind us! –Dan Frost, Store Manager–East
Q: Is any of your recycled stuff (wood) being donated to Occupy Madison? I don’t know what you’re recycling but I’d like for you to contact Occupy Madison—let them know what you’re recycling—see if they can use any of it.
A: We are working to place all usable material to folks and businesses that have a future use for them. Our goal is to recycle/repurpose 95% or greater of our materials. –Wynston Estis, Operations Manager