BRING BACK AMERICANOS
Q: Please bring back Americanos! Why would you get rid of Americanos?
A: Thanks for writing in. In planning our recent menu change, we started with a desired number of choices in order to clean up the menu and, from there, marked off sales to achieve our goal. We are making beverages using existing ingredients (like the Americanos) available on request. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
Q: For years, dishes containing mozzarella have used mozzarella with rennet, even though we have it without. Okay… if you must; but please don’t use the “vegetarian” signage for those dishes.
A: The cheeses used in our Production Kitchen all use vegetarian rennet. Thanks for the comment. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
NO FRUIT HINTS
Q: Please consider always offering a to-go coffee that has no fruit hints of any kind as at least one option being offered on any given day. Thank you so much!
A: I talked with the Juice Bar coordinators and dark, non-fruity roast should always be available. Thanks for the comments. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
BLACK BEAN HUMMUS
Q: Please bring back black bean hummus.
A: Thanks for writing in! It’s on a temporary vacation, but we will consider your feedback for future menu rotations! Thanks again. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
SPINACH AT THE JUICE BAR
Q: Please, please bring back spinach to the Juice Bar menu! I love it and eat it every day!
A: We needed to choose one leafy green to control spoilage on our Juice Bar inventory and went with kale for our summer menu. We will certainly keep your feedback in mind for our next menu cycle. Thanks again. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
Q: Please discontinue the use of the containers you currently use for the noodle bowls. The lids come off constantly, and then any paper grocery bag melts from the drips that come from the bowl. No fun.
A: Sorry to hear about these issues. We received a temporary run of these bowls from our supplier due to an out-of-stock and I thought we had already run through them. I’ll check in with our buyer and see what the situation is. I want you to enjoy your noodle bowls! Thanks for writing to let us know. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
Juice Bar pricing
Q: For the newly converted to coop mentality the juice bar can be a little intimidating. A member from 2007 to 2012, I wasn’t drawn into the juice bar until 2012 when I decided to try each of the suggested recipes.
The new pricing $7.49 [previously $5.49?] for a 16 oz Inner Peace is a tough pill. I can anticipate the response; it should have always cost this much based on a 5 ingredient juice.
For what it’s worth, the juice is good and the service is top notch, I probably won’t be usingthe juice bar as much though. With the coop being in good shape fiscally, it is hard to swallow a 40% price jump.
ALSO, RIP ‘Roseberry’ and ‘Ants on a Log’, things I never would have discovered without the creative recipes that used to be part of juice bar specials.
A: Thanks for writing in. I completely understand that our recent price increase is difficult. It’s hard to say with accuracy when the specific recipe you’re talking about would have been appropriately priced at $5.49—there was, no doubt, a time when this was true—but I fully agree that taking the jump all at once is a big change and hard to weave into regular shopping habits. We decided to maintain our status as the only fresh juice bar in the city using all-organic produce and, along with rising labor and equipment costs since our last price update well over a year ago, the cost pressure necessitated the change.
On an up note: No need to RIP creative specials. They’ll continue to be featured in the juice bar. Thanks again for writing. –Josh Perkins, Prepared Foods Director
Q: As an informed and concerned Co-op member can you please share if the Willy St. employees make what is considered a “liveable wage”? At the moment the suggested acceptable wage to eke out a simple life is $ 14.00 per hour in the Mid-West.
When I shop at the Co-op do I support our employees enough to sustain a life on their wages?
Please share this information as I have brought this up in conversation with a few other members and no-one was clear.
A: Thank you for your question and concern. The GM is given the directive by the Board as follows:
The GM may not fail to:
- Enable the staff to earn a living wage as determined by CGN.
- Strive to give staff a cost-of-living adjustment no less than every other year.
The Co-op reviews the Cooperative Grocer Network’s standard for a living wage each year, and has consistently exceeded this benchmark since the Board implemented it. Though I don’t know where the $14.00 per hour statistic comes from, our liveable wage is calculated based on information for the Madison area from HUD, USDA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Madison Metro, AT&T, current cost of Co-op health insurance and includes amounts for personal and retirement savings, out-of-pocket medical expenses and miscellaneous expenses.
I hope that helps to answer your question. Thank you again for your concern for our staff! –Sarah Dahl, HR Manager
Q: I am a longtime member of the Willy Street coop, since 1979 when I first moved to Madison, as a matter of fact. I am currently on disability and food stamps and appreciate the fact that the coop gives me an additional discount through an Access program. I received “Reader” today and perused the sale pages and found nothing there that I would buy. I primarily buy bulk items like brown rice and granola and occasionally East Wind almond butter or peanut butter. These items are very rarely on sale. I would find my way to the co-op much more frequently if you had meaningful sales on basic items.
A: Thanks for taking the time to write, I really appreciate the comment. It’s true that the items you mention aren’t on sale all that much. We usually rely on our vendors to give price breaks in order to pass the discount on as a sale, and not all vendors are as willing as others to work with us this way.
That said, we’re always looking for more opportunities for bulk promotion and we’ll continue to do that. In the meantime, here are several ideas for you:
In addition to our weekly and bi-weekly sales, we have what we call “ESP” (Everyday Sale Price) items. These are updated quarterly, and we try to focus on basic staple items like peanut butter, canned beans, bulk rice, bananas, and carrots. Have you utilized the case discount? You could get an additional 10% off almost any non-sale item if you purchase an entire case. This applies for bulk items (all except bulk coffee).
Secondly, every year we run two week-long specials on our entire bulk aisle. From September 22–28 we will have Organic Harvest Week, when all organic bulk items (except coffee) are 10% off. We also traditionally have a sale for Earth Week (the week including Earth Day every year) where all bulk items (except coffee) are 10% off. I know that’s pretty far into the future, but they are great times to stock up!
I hope this has helped answer your question at least a little. It’s a good reminder for us that we need to continue pushing for better promotions on basic bulk foods, and we’ll continue to do just that. Best Regards, Megan Minnick, Purchasing Director