Grocery

Customer Question: I would love if you could carry Yorkshire tea.  A British fave I can't find anywhere! Thank you!

Coop Answer: Thank you for your suggestion! We do carry Yorkshire Gold from Taylors of Harrogate, I will look to see if the original is also available.  Thanks! Update: it is available and we hope to see it soon! -Mary, Grocery Buyer

Q: 3 Bakers gluten free bread (7 grain) is the best! Can you get it? Please?

A: Hi, we don't currently have plans to carry this.  You can special order it. Please contact Chadd at 802-262-3203. -Leo, Grocery Manager

 

Q: Thanks!! Alvarado Square Bagels are back.

A: Yes, we had a lot of customer requests for them so we brought them back in.  -Leo, Grocery Manager

 

Q: Please pick up Nutpods unsweetened non-dairy creamer.  Almond and coconut and no sugar--yum!  Amazon subscription--boo!

A: Hi, while we don't have any plans of carrying this, you can special order it.  -Leo, Grocery Manager

 

Q: What happened to the bulk tofu? Insurance company and lawyers no doubt.  If folks don't want to take the risk, then don't.  I don't want tofu in plastic containers! Tnx.

A: Thank you for your question.  The main company that offered bulk tofu went out of stock for a long period of time.  During that time, we found the sheets of tofu that we currently sell.  We priced those lower per pound than the bucket tofu.  As a result, when we brought the buckets back, they just did not sell well, so we discontinued it.  -Leo, Grocery Manager

 

Q: Organic candy canes--in a box--need to put out so folks can find them--not near cereal?

A: Thank you for the suggestion.  We recently moved them and hope they are easier to find. -Mary, Grocery Buyer

 

Q: What happened to the delicious Kit Bars.--esp. cashew? They're one of few without added sugar. 

A: We discontinued this item for slow sales but we are looking at bringing one flavor back because we have had multiple requests to bring it back.  Sorry for the inconvenience! -Mary, Grocery Buyer

 

Q: I love your loose leaf tea selection! Would you consider doing a tea tasting event? I am sure it would help many members widen their tea interests.

A: Great idea! We'll look into it.  -Michael, Bulk Buyer

 

Q: Why is our coop selling holiday breads with unlabeled artificial ingredients? Not ok!

A: Our apologies if you were misled.  We discovered late in the holiday season that a vendor had ordered dried fruit with artificial colors specifically to service our account.  We made the decision to honor our commitment to the local baker and sell the product with a warning sign posted on the shelf.  Next year's stollen will be all natural ingredients. -Kari, General Manager

 

Prepared Foods

 

Q: Who stole the Cesar salad dressing at the salad bar? It was great!

A: I'm glad you enjoyed it! We just needed to make room for more offerings.  We do still off a kale Cesar in the grab and go section.  Ask at the counter as we always have it in the back for that item.  -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

 

Q: Many of us are allergic to wheat, milk, eggs, and soy.  I am allergic to all four! Last summer there was al lot I would eat.  Not much lately...

A: I am sorry to hear that we are not meeting your needs.  Perhaps you might stop by and say hello to me and we can talk about what you might like to see? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

 

Q: Menu says vegan chili, instead there is beef chili.  WTF? Another wasted trip.

A: We did serve it, but it would have been on the hot bar, not as a soup.  Perhaps you weren't looking for it there? We serve it nearly every week on the hot bar (not soup well) -- and never run out.  -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

 

Q: On the hot bar for breakfast I'd love to see warm hard boiled eggs and sautéed greens like chard with onion, garlic, turmeric, maybe ginger.  Would also like to see cooked eggs with breakfast sausage and onions at least a couple times per week.

A: Great suggestions! Thanks for taking the time to share this.  My team and I are already discussing how to add to the breakfast offerings and these are a great help.  Thanks again! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

 

Q: Pt. 1: Please stop using soy based MSG in your hot salad bar.  "Natural flavorings", "spices" and "herbs" are MSG! I would be a member if you fixed this.  Pt. 2: No MSG guy here again...it is also silly to mix organic with non organic.  Go full organic and stop using soy based MSG! 

A: Please come by and say "hi" to me when/if you have the opportunity.  I think there may be a bit of a disconnect between the info you have and what we do.  Often I will label our dishes as having "herbs" rather than a specific one so that I have an option to use organic thyme instead of parsley without having to print a new sign.   -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

 

Q: Your gluten free muffins are the best I have ever had--especially the chocolate coconut! Yum!

A: Thank you for taking the time to share this.  I am so pleased you enjoy them.  The pastry team let out a group "aww shucks" when I read this to them.   -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

 

Q: Please carry Sweet Rowan cheese products.  I enjoy them and I shop other places because that is more convenient. 

Q: Please carry Sweet Rowan cheese again.

A: We discontinued this cheese line due to service issues.  -Bibi, Cheese Buyer

 

Produce

Q: Why don't you have growing plants? I think many people would like more plants.

A: All of our potted plants are grown in Vermont.  The selection will change as different plants become available.  Most of the flowering plants are from the Von Trapps in Waitsfield while most of the non-flowering plants are from Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg, VT.  -Robert, Produce Manager

 

Q: My compliments to those in charge of the apple section this autumn.  What an excellent selection and display! Thank you!

A: Thank you! We take our local apple selection very seriously.  Glad you like it! -Robert, Produce Manager

 

Wellness

Q: The entire state office complex at National Life is fragrance free, and with so many people with fragrance sensitivities, it's still hard to find fragrance free products.  For example, my friend and I just realized we are about to get the same thing! There are no bulk fragrance-free hand soaps! We'd love to see the VT Soapworks fragrance free soap in a larger size or in bulk.  Thanks!

A: Thank you for the suggestion.  We will consider this when we review the bulk soap category.  -Laura, Wellness Manager

 

General

Q: Please stop carrying bottled water.  If you feel there's a need, simply sell empty jugs. 

Q: Please don't sell bottled water.

A: Thank you for your comments requesting the co-op not sell bottled water products.  This is something we have considered before due to the significant environmental, health, and socio-economic impacts associated with bottled water.  We generally do not boycott products, especially entire categories, but prefer to provide alternatives and share information with customers so that they can make their own informed choices.  For example, the co-op provides filtered city water free of charge, a benefit many of our customers value.  We also sell home water filters at close to cost and recently allocated additional space in the bottled water section for filters.  Recently, a customer made a great suggestion (that we took her up on) that we post a sign near the bottled water reminding folks that we offer free filtered water. 

One of the challenges of boycotts is the slippery slope of decision making.  If we discontinue bottled water, should that then extend to seltzer, all soft drinks, any product with plastic packaging or any product that relies on water from aquifers? Of course there are times when folks believe they need bottled water (e.g. power outages or while traveling) and so I am reluctant to eliminate a customer's choice all together.

I would be happy to discuss ways to promote awareness about bottled water and healthy, sustainable alternatives.  In the past we have used the Full Scoop newsletter and our workshop program to get the word out.  Feel free to contact me to discuss further.  -Kari, General Manager

 

Q: Thank you for the filtered water!

A: You're welcome! Glad you enjoy it :) -Emma, Customer Service Rep

 

Q: It would be great if you could persuade the post office to put a letter box outside the store.

A: Great suggestion!  I reached out to our Montpelier office and they agreed to fully consider it after the holidays.  They seemed open to it after I mentioned out 11,000+ transactions per week.  -Kari, General Manager

 

Q: Program a POP tracker that shows daily total for food shelf round up totals.  You gave $$$ today.

A: Thanks for the suggestion. -Ravi, IT Manager

 

Q: In café, why not show with a picture what is recyclable (like is done at Panara's) e.g. are napkins soiled, not soiled?  Are waked soup containers? Are plastic containers?

A: Our Green Team is working on this very topic.  We are looking at ways to better inform our customers of what is recyclable/compostable and trash, as well as better designating signage.  Thanks for your input! -Mary, Facilities Manager