Customer Comments

Write Us!
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!
Write Us!
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!

In May’s Reader, the Orange-Rhubarb Snack Bread called for a 5”x5” loaf pan. It should have said 9”x5” loaf pan. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. –Liz Wermcrantz, Editor

Deli containers
Q: Hi. I love you guys and I appreciate every attempt to be more eco-friendly. However, I don’t like seeing more and more corn-based containers at the deli. We don’t need to support BIG CORN and the products, while biodegradable, still have a high cost to manufacture. Also, families like mine can’t use the utensils or containers because we are extremely intolerant/allergic to corn!

A: Thanks for writing in! The Deli uses EcoStar food-grade recycled PETE with up to 100% post-consumer recycled content (recycled beverage bottles). We also use TFPP, which is also a recyclable plastic. The only corn-based item is the cutlery. It is made from a mix of materials like potatoes, corn and other vegetables. Since cutlery is non-recyclable, we decided to go with the product that was the most eco-friendly. An even more eco-friendly route to go is to use your own silverware or use the stainless steel dinnerware we provide in our Deli. We decided to switch from using the compostable packaging over a year ago or so, since there wasn’t a composting facility near Madison and the city now recycles deli containers. So for now, this is our best option. Hope this information helps! –Gina Jimenez-Lalor, Deli Manager–East

Cleaning schedules
Q: Kudos to the fine job the Co-op worker did on the windows/window area cleaning and dusting and vacuuming. But I object to that sort of work being done in such close proximity to people/Co-op customers eating food. It really does not go well with one’s digestion to be assaulted by industrial vacuum noise and window cleaner sprayed copiously into the air regardless of the good intentions. I leave a nervous wreck.

A: I’m sorry that your lunch was disturbed! The worker that was cleaning when you were eating has been urged to not do this type of project during meal times. She was very eager to get the cleaning done but was not aware she was causing a problem. We are working to make sure the cleaning is done at more appropriate times. –Jim Jirous, Maintenance Manager–East

No trespassing!
Q: As an owner of a large tract of woodland in Northwest Dane County, and a big fan and member of Willy Street Coop, I was a little disturbed at Andy Johnston’s article on spring produce—specifically the paragraph about mushrooms and ramps. Andy encouraged readers to “get out in the woods and do some hunting of your own.” Please remember that most of the woods, unless in state/local parks, in Dane County and surrounding areas, are privately owned and going into them without landowner permission is trespassing. Many years I find people in my woods, wandering (getting lost—as I have over 120 acres), looking for valuable mushrooms that some sell from my property for $15+ per pound. Please, remember to check whose woods you find, and obtain the landowner’s permission before you jump out of your car. Thanks!

A: Sorry! I did not mean to imply that people should go onto private property to hunt morels and ramps. I should have been more clear, and stated there are numerous state wildlife areas (public hunting and fishing) in the area where you can harvest morels, ramps, and various other wild edibles, but then again, I didn’t want to give away my spots! Again, I apologize. -Andy Johnston, Produce Manager–East

Email receipts
Q: You should start offering to email receipts to members. It would cut down on paper use and you could use email that’s on our accounts anyway—making it even quicker than printing.

A: Currently the IT department is working with our point of sale (POS) vendor to allow for the option to have your receipts emailed to you immediately after your purchase is complete. The functionality should be available in a few months! Thank you! –James Phetteplace, Information Systems Manager

Knife skills
Q: I attended Tues. class with Paul—knife skills. It was incredible. He did an excellent job explaining, demonstrating and enjoying. I would definitely take more classes from him. Also thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other participants.

A: Thank you so much for your generous comment on Paul’s class. He is certainly one of our most popular instructors. I know when I attend one of his classes, I learn so much and also have a great time! Thanks again for writing and I will make sure that Paul sees your comment. Katie O’Connell-Jones, Cooperative Services Assistant

Thanks, Ryan
Q: Every time I come to Willy West and Ryan deli/food is working, he always makes me smile and makes my day a little better. Thank you for being so wonderful and positive every time I come in. I love Willy West!!

A: Thanks so much for writing! Ryan has really become a force on the grill for both breakfast and lunch. I am extremely happy that you enjoy his good rapport. I’m glad you love Willy West and we hope to see you soon.
–Bill Pohlman, Deli Manager–West

Speaker volume
Q: Is there any way to control the volume on the public address system at Willy West? The pages are way too loud. Thank you.

A: Sorry to hear that the pages are too loud for you. Yes, paging volumes can be adjusted. The current settings were approved by the store manager. Please provide specifics in the future so we may adjust the proper zone and/or speakers. –James Phetteplace, Information Systems Manager

Q: So how is it that at a not-for-profit store “owned” by members the price of a staple product like organic quinoa is more expensive than at a for-profit store? It’s the same product, from the same bulk source, and I doubt they buy/sell more than WSGC does at two stores.

A: Thanks for taking the time to voice your concerns about this issue! I am sorry you found our pricing of organic bulk quinoa to be higher than that of our competitors. I checked out our pricing on organic bulk quinoa. We sell two types of quinoa at Willy East and four at Willy West. Which one were you referring to? In my thirteen years of experience shopping our competition we are normally lower priced when it comes to bulk goods. Also, we are a consumer-owned cooperative that, in practice, budgets for a modest surplus (a.k.a. profit) compared to industry standards. When we have a surplus left over at the end of the fiscal year, we may distribute the Owners’ share of the surplus back to the Owners in the form of a patronage refund. These profits are distributed in direct proportion to a Co-op Owner’s patronage (purchases) and are made up of retained patronage equity and store credit. Last year (Fiscal Year 2012), the Co-op earned $34.6M in gross sales and $563k in taxable surplus. Of that, $475k was allocated to Owners as a patronage refund ($380k as retained patronage equity and $95k as a store credit). Thanks for writing. We appreciate your feedback! -Dean Kallas, Purchasing Manager

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