Customer Question: Can we carry [Red Star] baking yeast?
Co-op Answer: Thank you for the suggestion. I am adding this to the list of items to bring in for March. In the meantime, it is available for special order, call Elly (262-3022) for special order information. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Could you please order the following: Golden Monkfruit Sweetener. It is organic, low glycemic value, and almost no calories. Used for eating/sweetened baking.
A: Thank you for the suggestion! This looks very interesting and I will add it to the list of products to bring in for March. Thank you! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please...Tessemae's dressings and marinades (vegetable oil/preservative/gluten/soy free!)
A: Thank you for the suggestion. We are currently full in this category but I will add this to the list for the next reset. Thank you for supporting the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Get Tom Knows salsa and Gringo chips flakey cinnamon.
A: Thank you for the suggestion! We are pretty full in the salsa category but I will keep it in mind for the future. We did carry the cinnamon Gringo Jacks but they we discontinued by our distributor. Thank you for supporting the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Clif nut butter filled bars please.
A: Thank you for the suggestion! I have these on the list to bring in for April. We hope to see them then! Thank you for supporting the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Could you please carry Follow Your Heart salad dressings. Especially the vegan blue cheese!
A: Thank you for your suggestion! Unfortunately this item is not available through our distributor. I will keep looking for other options. Thank you for supporting the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Is it possible to get Black Strap Molasses?
A: Thank you for your suggestion. I am having trouble finding an option available to us, but I will keep looking! Thank you for supporting the Co-op! *Update: The molasses we carry is black strap (Wholesome Sweetener Brand). -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: It seems inconsistent to be selling wholesome food and also to sell sugar water with 5% juice in bottles that look like the ones with 100% juice.
A: Thank you for your suggestion. I would love do discuss this in more depth. Please contact me at email@example.com or 262-3253. I am always looking for better options and would love to hear your suggestions! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Big boxes kale chips! They make double size!
A: Thank you for the suggestion. I will put it on the list for the next time we reset that category. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Guacamole chips, please.
A: I will add this to my list the next reset in the chip aisle. Thank you for the suggestion. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Love the new gluten free identification labels--really helps find gf products! Thanks.
A: Thanks for noticing! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Chicken for dogs? From Shady Brook, etc.
A: Hello, we usually do chicken backs by special order from Misty Knoll and they come in 25# or 50# units. We out the order in Monday for Thursday delivery each week. Thanks. -Nick, Meat Buyer
Q: Can you please additionally add the "spicy Italian" flavored Vermont meat sticks? (Like Slim Jims).
A: Howdy, done and done. Look for it on the shelf next Thursday, 3/16, at the latest. Thanks. -Nick, Meat Buyer
Q: Could you sell small samples of Organix cat food? Not sure my cats will like or not. Could you stock Desert Pepper Salsa, 3 Olive, again?
A: Thank you for your suggestion. Castor and Pollox does not have a sample size available to us at this time. I suggest trying it and saving your receipt. If the kitties do not care for it, bring it back and we will refund your money. We are currently very full in the salsa category, but I will add it to the list for the next reset (but it is available for special order!). Thanks. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: There are (still) at least two jars of Spectrum Omega-3 mayo on the shelf with expiration/sell by dates of 17 Feb! Not good!
A: Thank you for letting us know. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Please carry more flavors of Hail Merry cakes! Key lime and peanut butter and chocolate!
A: Thank you for your request, we are considering bringing in more flavors. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Hi Loves, Running Stone Bread, please. I'm in love! Seeded German and 3 Seed esp.
A: Thank you for your interest in the bread, they deliver on Saturdays. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Since Hormel bought Applegate, breakfast sausages now have sugar. Our household consequently went from 8-10 packages a week to zero. Can something be done?
A: Thank you for your feedback. I have reached out to the company. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Why are there so few Lake Champlain milk chocolate bars? There are many dark choc.
A: I researched the answer to this. We carry a complete line of Lake Champlain chocolate. We carry more dark chocolate than milk chocolate because it's all they offer. Thanks for asking! -Elly, Asst. Grocery Manager
Q: Could you sell stainless steel straws?
A: You are in luck, we do! They are near the registers with the other household items. Please ask for assistance if you cannot find them,. Thanks. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Can we get compostable vegetable bags in grocery? They have them at whole foods. It's a single use item.
A: Thank you for the request, we are considering adding this to our store now. Thanks! -Chadd, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please order lentil pasta. So delicious!
A: We carry this item. I'm sorry it was out of stock when you were shopping. It is back in stock now. Thanks! -Chadd, Grocery Buyer
Q: Restock the rose Tulsi Organic India tea. Please, I can't live without it.
A: We carry this item. I am sorry if it was out of stock during your shopping trip. It is back in stock now. Thanks! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Bragg sprinkle seasoning.
A: Your request has been added to our "customer requests to carry" list. When we look at this set, we will consider carrying this. Thanks. -Chadd, Grocery Buyer
Q: Alan LePage's chaga tea blend.
A: I added your request to our list of possible new items. The next time we look to add teas we will consider this product. Thanks!
-Chadd, Grocery Buyer
Q: Any baking mix by Simple Mills (almond flour) cake mixes, low sugar.
A: Thank you for the request. When we add to this set we will consider your request. Thank you. -Chadd, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please put similar items near each other.
A: Thank you for the suggestion. Could you please be more specific? Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), I would be happy to discuss this further. Thank you. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Organic avocado oil in glass, please.
A: I checked our 3 main distributors and none of them carry organic avocado oil. However, they do carry non GMO avocado oil in glass. If you have interest in this, please contact me (email@example.com). Thanks! -Chadd, Grocery Buyer
Q: Thanks for getting special spice.
A: You are welcome! Thank you for your suggestion! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Fever Tree Elderflower tonic water = amazing. Please have this flavor at the next bulk sale.
A: Thank you for the suggestion. We will not have this item in the tent for truckload, but it will be on sale in the store! Thank you for the support! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: High Mowing Seeds are great! BUT--woo! $2.89 a packet? No, this can't be right--City Market is $1.99 for HM seeds. I can't buy them @ $2.89.
A: High Mowing retails their seeds for $2.95, we set our regular price at $2.89 and regularly put them on sale for $1.98 and sometimes lower. Different stores will use different items as loss leaders. We could not afford $1.98 as a regular price, sorry! -Robert, Produce Manager
Q: Yucca? It is so delicious, will it ever visit here so I can buy it?
A: Sorry to say we have never seen organic yucca root, and the demand for yucca is too small to justify bringing it in conventionally--like one request every few years. Sorry! -Robert, Produce Manager
Q: Can you carry whole, hot chili peppers again?
A: None currently available. We will probably try to pick them up the next time they are offered. Hot peppers are very sporadically on the market. -Robert, Produce Manager
Q: Why do you sell peppers from Israel? Is it not too far? Also for equality--why not sell peppers from Palestine?
A: We try to buy as close to Vermont as possible. A few local growers grow pepper, but not this time of year. Very few USA growers grow colored pepper. Most come from Mex., Holland, or Israel and usually we do not get to choose. Sorry! -Robert, Produce Manager
Q: Woo-hoo! Seeds too high a price for me...
A: They are regularly put on sale, so keep an eye out for our next sale coming around April 19th. -Robert, Produce Manager
Q: Are there anymore totes of local apples coming this year?
A: Local apples are done for the season - both organic and eco. Most orchards had a very poor year. -Robert, Produce Manager
Q: Please carry Mineral Fusion brand facial care products.
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We will keep it in mind as we add products to our facial care section. -Laura, Wellness Manager
Q: Please get a sushi bar.
A: I don't imagine a sushi bar happening but we have been offering some in the grab and go lately. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: In deli section, please put out salmons, chicken, etc. packages with prices and sizes facing out-towards the customer. You always do the opposite and that is inconvenient for most shoppers.
A: I thought the same thing and did that a few years back, what immediately became apparent was that facing them forward hid all the items from clear view - creating a challenge that seemed even worse! That's why they are faced in that way. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: I use the reusable take-out containers. Have you considered having a smaller size also? When I get hot food and a salad I'd like a second small container so as not to have to mix hot and cold items...two large containers is a little cumbersome.
A: Thanks for the suggestion. There have been a couple of requests for this. We will explore what is available to bring in. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Thank you for making the price of olives comparable to every other coop!
A: It's the right thing to do. You bet! Enjoy! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Thank you for having three refined sugar-free and dairy-free salad dressings at the buffet!
A: Thanks for sharing, it is much appreciated! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: How about an All-You-Can-Eat Salad Bar? Give the customer the option to pay as they do now (by the pound), or one fixed price for "All You Can Eat."
A: How much would you pay for that option? Come by and tell me please. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Would love big bowls in addition to plate at salad bar for eating here.
A: Yes! We are exploring the perfect one and will bring them in to use in the coming months. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Half size ECO containers would get more use, at least by me.
A: Yes, this is one we have heard from others, too, and will explore what options are with this. Stay tuned. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Please start charging $.20 per disposable coffee cup. (All of Montpelier should do that!)
A: You are preaching to the choir! Environmental surcharge? What do you suggest it would read on the receipt? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Can we get regular Caesar salad in the deli case again? (Or do I just keep missing it?)
A: We would be happy to make it for you as a special order. Stop by or call to request it for a specific day/time. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Great banana choc chip muffins!
A: Mmmm...muffins! Yum! I passed this on to the pastry staff - thanks for sharing! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Please keep the steam table warmer. It's hard to have a hot meal hear, especially if there is a long line at the cashier.
A: We regularly temp the hot and cold bar and the hot food is consistently held at 140 degrees F. It can be challenging with an open plate in a cold space to keep it hot while waiting in line. Holding it hotter would break down the food compromising quality. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Cook your hot bar deli chicken. 2 staff in deli were not very courteous. One at hot drink station was argumentative and unfriendly. The other at the deli register put/dropped money bills and change on the counter and I had to puck yup all the coins, etc. Also not very customer friendly, try looking in face.
A: I am sorry for your negative experience. Please come see me so I can get some more details from you. Thanks. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: How about olive oil in the dressings at the salad bar instead of sunflower oil?
A: Olive oil would coagulate in the cold bar making it a very challenging/non-emulsified dressing w/ chunks of solid oil to enjoy. Also, it's not always the best flavor choice in all dressings. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
A: ...is delicious? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager
Q: Rather disappointed to see the co-op bought into that bogus marketing ploy: buy two for $___...shabby!
A: Not sure I agree, as a customer you can still buy a single as well. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me (262-3205). -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: Some of your cashiers need some serious customer service training.
A: I am sorry you had a bad experience on the Front End. I have 25+ cashiers on the front end and it is very hard to talk to all of them one on one. Our customer service is very important to me. I would like to have some more information so I can spend one on one time with the cashiers that need extra customer service training. Please stop by and see me, give me a call (262-3225), or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks! -Sonia, Front End Manager
Q: Please rename the express lane - it is not express - maybe just call it "8 items or less".
A: Great thought! Let me think about it. -Sonia, Front End Manager
Q: The idea of the solar canopy is great, but has clear negative impact on parking. Spaces are now to narrow, sometimes on car takes two. Can't solve it now, but maybe for any future one!
A: Thank you. I agree the spaces are now tighter and pose parking challenges. This being a new design for SunCommon, we decided to go small to see how it works and what adjustments are needed/can be made. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Why do we need a solar array that points straight up rather than angled correctly at the sun? Doesn't seem right! How much did that solar array cost the owners? What's the payback?
A: The canopy is angled toward the sun, somewhat. We considered the upright design but judged we do not have suitable space. The project cost close to $60,000 and the estimated pay back is 13 years. Please let me know if you have more questions. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Before you get rid of senior discounts...why don't you get rid of corporate consultants...if you need to consult with anyone it should be the members and not those with ties to the industry...consult with seniors they are full of wisdom!
A: There is no plan to "get rid of the senior discount." We did have a series of discussions with members and staff (including 40 seniors) about our member discounts. Not sure what you mean by "corporate consultants", like most businesses, the Co-op does utilize consultants from time to time. Sounds like you might want to consult further : email@example.com, 262-3219, or speak to me at the Co-op. I would like to better understand your perspective. -Kari, General Manager
Q: I love the Co-op.
A: So glad, thank you. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Keep the senior discount!
A: Thanks. The summary of our first round of Co-op Conversations will be posed to the website soon. Our committee is working on a draft recommendation based on that input and we will be asking for your feedback in April or May. Stay tuned. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Employee conditions: Need to replace air filters and clean overhead air ventilate ports. Carbon visible on screen.
A: Thank you for the suggestion. We do currently change out our air filters every 1-2 months to ensure air quality. The vents are cleaned periodically and we also do a deep clean of the entire ventilation system as well. -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Very helpful floor staff, thanks.
A: Thanks for the kudos! -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: How come our prices are often higher than smaller coops in the area?
A: Hard to compare, because we don't all buy the same exact product. Something to consider when buying produce, we only organic or local so it does tend to be higher priced. -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: Please make your bathrooms smell better, with love, nose plug.
A: We have just rejuvenated our air fresheners and now have a odor neutralizer in use. We are hoping this helps. Thanks! -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Another bathroom please or maybe just another stall or urinals in the existing bathrooms.
A: I like your suggestion. We currently do not have the space needed to expand our bathrooms, but I will keep your suggestion in mind should that change in the future. Thanks. -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Could you please install more coat hooks in the bathrooms? One hook is not sufficient to keep a coat, scarf, hat, purse, and whatever else one carries, off the floor. This is especially true in winter. With thick, bulky items, the hook becomes too crowded and stuff falls. Not sanitary.
A: All taken care of. Each bathroom now has four hooks to hang your items. Thanks for the suggestion. -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Are workers really as unhappy as they seem today? Talk of filing grievances probably says a lot to us member owners.
A: I apologize that labor issues became a part of your experience at the Co-op. While we are far from perfect, I think the Co-op does an admirable job of balancing employee interests with the interests of members, shoppers, vendors, and the business. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Love, love, love the $5 produce coupons!
A: Thanks! -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: Change your water filter! It's just tap H20.
A: Our water filters are changed at 3 month intervals and are just due for a change. Thanks for the note. -Mary, Facilities Manager