Customer Question: Chocolate Hollow Schmilk Chocolate made in Winooski, VT--vegan. Is this something you could get?
Co-op Answer: Thank you for your suggestion! This is available from on of our distributors and I am working on bringing it in soon! Thank you for shopping at the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Salsa from the Gut black bean salsa quality has been inconsistent for a couple months or so. Half the jars I buy (1/week) have been very watery, no means or much else to speak of and pretty tasteless. (I still miss No. 9 brand salsa--black bean and corn). They seem to have quality consistency problem?
A: Thank you for your comment! I will pass your concerns on to the company. I haven't heard any other complaints, but we will keep an eye out. I am not familiar with the No. 9 brand. I will look into it. Thank you! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Hi, my suggestion is unsweetened cranberry juice from the VT Cranberry co. Thank you!
A: Hello! Thank you for your suggestion! According to their website, they are only available at the year round Burlington Farmer's Market, and they are not available for wholesale. I sent an email asking them to consider it, who knows what they will say! Thank you for supporting the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Smaller bags or plain, salted tortilla chips.
A: Thank you for your suggestion! I think Late July has one available. I will see what I can do! Thanks for supporting the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Would like to see "Parm Crisps". It's parmesan sliced thin and baked. They are like crackers. Yum!
A: That sounds delicious! Unfortunately, I haven't found anyone who distributes this item, I will continue you a search...meanwhile, there are a lot of recipes online...I may try them myself! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: I am missing wax paper sandwich bags. Can you possibly stock them again?
A: Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately both companies that we carry (If You Care and Natural Value) were carrying the same item and the company they were sourcing from was recently bough out and this item is no longer being produced. I am looking for alternatives but so far coming up empty. Sorry for the inconvenience. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: I read that sorghum grain is great for us gluten free folks.
A: Thank you for your comment! We are always looking for better ways to accommodate sensitivities. We currently carry a sorghum flour but I will look into finding the grains. Thank you! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Could you please carry only fragrance free products (i.e. 7th Generation). Mrs. Meyers contains fragrances they don't disclose its contents. Thanks.
A: Thank you for your comment. We carry items because other customers like them and buy them. We try to educate as much as we can on which products are best for our health and environment but we continue to sell the items because we have customers that continue to buy them. I would love to discuss this further. Please contact me - 262-3253. Thank you! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please carry chimichurri!
A: Thank you for your suggestion! I am looking for clean options and haven't had much luck, but I will continue to look. Thank you! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Can you get Einkorn Whole Wheat Flour?
A: Thank you for your suggestion! We currently carry an Einkorn flour in our baking section and I will look for a whole wheat option. Thank you for supporting the Co-op! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please carry a thermos option for soup etc...and keep it!
A: Thank you for the suggestion. We are currently looking for better ways to keep these items in stock. It can be tricky because we have limited back-stock and the minimums are large. I would be happy to discuss this further - 262-3253. -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Put prices on the E-Cloths please!
A: Thank you for the suggestion. We do not normally price individual items, but if this is an ongoing issue we will try to work it out. Thank you! -Mary, Grocery Buyer
Q: Powdered licorice root as a natural sweetener - bulk. Thank you.
A: We'll look into this. Thanks for the suggestion. -Michael, Bulk Buyer
Q: What's going on in the bulk department? Dried fruit rack 1/2 empty, many spices empty for 2 weeks, sprout seeds empty and more expensive than packaged seed. Do I have to go to Hannafords? So yes, the coop is selling a lot of food, but aware employees anticipate the need to order.
A: Thanks for your concern, we are working to address these issues. P.S. Don't go to Hannafords. P.P.S. All of the bulk herbs and spices (not the sprouting seeds) are back in stock as of the 10th of February. I anticipate the sprouting seeds to be back around the 17th of February. -Michael, Bulk Buyer
Q: Please clean the coffee bean bulk bins. They look awful. Thank you.
A: Thank you for your concern, we're working hard to address this issue. -Michael, Bulk Buyer
Q: Sumac spice--is this something we could carry?
A: Thanks for the suggestion we'll look into it. -Michael, Bulk Buyer
Q: Hi. You seem to run out of the Sula and Elevate beet juices too often. Thanks!
A: Thank you for the feedback, we will look into this. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Could we please bring in more local whole wheat bread options? Everything is made with white flour!
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We are looking for more whole wheat bread. We will let our current vendors know about this request. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Carry Four Sisters vegan pumpkin bread, please!
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We are looking in to getting this product. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Burlington Co-op has frozen whole wheat pie crusts. You have white pie crusts but not whole wheat. They are really good. Would it be possible to obtain? Thanks!
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We are going to see if we can get this product. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: I would love it if you carried Toffutti sour cream. I have a dairy allergy (not just lactose problem) so a dairy free option would be wonderful. Toffutti makes the best.
A: Thank you for this suggestion. We carry this product. If you need help finding it, please let us know. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Lately, you don't have plain Meyers gluten free bagels available...please carry these again. I'm not fond of all the seeds!
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We will notify the vendor so they can bring more. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: What happened to Boca "chicken" nuggets? I was told that when the freezer section was redone there would be more product, not less! Also, where is the meat free breakfast sausage? This forces me to shop elsewhere.
A: Thank you for the comment. We still carry the Boca nuggets. We are looking in to the meatless breakfast sausage. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Halo Top ice cream. Customer suggests "good, new product".
A: Thank you for your suggestion. Our current distributor does not carry this product. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Strawberry Sage bulk Kombucha from Aquavitae.
A: Thank you for the suggestion. We will let the vendor know that customers are looking for hat flavor. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: Re: Pastabilities whole wheat pizza dough. This has so much more flavor than the white dough you sell. Can you get this?
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We currently carry this. -Leo, Grocery Manager
Q: $5.82 is too much money for soup.
A: Medium soup is 16 oz and the price equates to .33 cents per ounce. It's not unreasonable when you consider the expense side of the equation. Thank you for your comment, we are sensitive to prices. -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: Food in café is too expensive.
A: I certainly understand your feelings on this. There are a number of things we don't promote as well as we should that contribute to our pricing. All of ur veggies are organic or local or both. Nearly all the hot bar items are organic or local or both. No one else is using items like that in this setting and it definitely costs more $. When you add the living wage and benefits our staff enjoy, it equals our price. -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: Can you put together some chicken salad without onions sometimes?
A: Anytime you would like to special order some we would be happy to make it. Just ask. -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: I was wondering where the baklava went? They seem to have disappeared a few months ago.
A: It's back! Enjoy! -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: Pizza at the salad bar.
A: Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. Pizza is one of my favorites, too. Regretfully, a steam table never made pizza better to eat. -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: Hot bar request: something interesting to eat for those whose diets are dairy free, gluten free, soy free. Thanks!
A: Thanks for the suggestion. Do you have any favorite recipes or specific dishes you would enjoy seeing? We try to be approachable for most diets, though don't always hit the mark every meal Come see me with your suggestions, I would welcome them. -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: Smoked meat and pastrami are not the same. I buy smoked meat. I tasted the pastrami. I will not be buying it. Don't tell me how local, etc. the pastrami is.
A: They are definitely not the same. This is one of my peeves as well. Were you sold smoked meat but got pastrami? These are two very different profiles. We will be keeping them both. -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: I think the tea in the prepared foods/deli area should be self serve. The deli staff have more important jobs than putting H2O in a cup. A: Thanks for the suggestion. -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: Pizza, please! It's (very) long overdue!
A: Thanks for taking the time to suggest this. Pizza is not an item that lends itself well to a steam table service. -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: 11 AM on Sunday seems late to put breakfast out. Waited until after 11 (11:10 am) still no go. Gave up.
A: I am sorry to hear we did not meet your expectations this Sunday. When you say breakfast, do you mean breakfast sandwiches we out at 8 AM? 11 is way too late for that! Please know that our goal is to have lunch out fully by 11 each day. Thanks! -Doug, Food Services Manager
Q: You need a scale at the food bar so people know if they qualify for the $10 spent discount of $2.
A: Great idea! Thanks for the suggestion. You can always have it weighed at the register to see if you need to add a bit, too. -Dough, Food Services Manager
Q: I really love the new Veriditas essential oils! I used to be a young living guy, but I didn't like the whole online component. I'm glad that there's a local vendor that I can get this stuff from! Thanks!
A: Thank you for the positive feedback regarding Veriditas. I'm glad you are enjoying their oils. -Laura, Wellness Manager
Q: Any chance you could sell bulk electrolyte replacement powder? Better than using 5 plastic packets a week!
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We are looking to bring in an organic coconut water powder that provides 5 key electrolytes. We are still looking for additional bulk options that are of high quality. -Laura, Wellness Manager
Q: Shelf labels for EBT eligible/not eligible.
A: Wow! Great idea! I have talked with our "IT" dept and they are gonna look into it. Thanks. -Keven, Operations Manager
Q: Please use text to contact member/owner when other options don't work.
A: Sorry, we don't have the technology for this, at this time. -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: I came in this AM and the parking lot was totally full. After 2 X's around I l left. Same thing this afternoon but did get the last spot. It's as crowded as on major holidays, but the store is almost empty.
A: I'm sorry for the inconvenience but there are times of day this is the norm. I would suggest early mornings or after 6 pm in the evening! -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: Could you briefly educate us members on how you price your items? I've noticed that HM Coop has higher prices than other co-ops I've been to. It's a little off putting, but there must be a reason?
A: There is a fair amount of complexity in the details, but the overview is that we price items so that after paying the vendor, the Co-op keeps between 35 + 36 cents of every dollar in sales, on average. There is a lot of variation between departments and between different products. In my experience, some of our prices are higher than other co-ops, some are lower, but many are identical, especially on sale items because so many co-ops purchase jointly from our primary distributor. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Kari- I am still looking forward to hearing from you about carrying empty jugs instead of gallons of water. Hope to hear from you soon.
A: Thank you for your patience. We will have a new site of refillable water jugs soon along with signage reminding customers that we have free city water available. This will be offered in addition to bottle gallons. -Kari, General Manager
Q: People can buy a glass Kombucha bottle and fill for free -- suggestion.
A: Are you referring to the bottled water discussion? That is a great suggestion! Thank you! -Emma, Customer Service Rep
Q: Please put water bowls everywhere dogs are hooked--i.e. on the other side of the entrance. Also, rubber mats of some sort so they don't have to sit on there cold concrete please! Woof! (And thanks for the water).
A: Thanks for the suggestions. We do put water bowls out in the warmer months, not so much in the colder months due to the ice forming and breaking bowls. Anyone is welcome to use it though if their dog needs a drink. You are most welcome fore the water! -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Kombucha is alcoholic. In Chicago it is illegal to buy for people under 21. Could you try to notify that in some way?
A: Thank you for your comment. Kombucha in Vermont only has trace amounts of alcohol in it and the Department of Liquor Control does not view this as an alcoholic beverage. -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: It is very annoying to be asked to round up constantly at the register.
A: Sorry you feel that way, but it's part of our mission to help build a healthy community and by rounding up it really helps support organizations who greatly assist those who need it...Senior Center, Montpelier Food Pantry, etc. -Kevin, Operations Manager
Q: I would appreciate it if staff would stop talking about their medical problems while running the cash register.
A: Thank you for your feedback. I understand you concern and would appreciate it if you would be willing to contact me about it with some more details. 262-3225 or Soniak@hungermountain.coop. Thank you! -Sonia, Front End Manager
Q: How about sponsoring bread tastings where us customers can taste and compare each variety offered by a particular bakery?
A: If there are any particular loaves you'd like to try, please let me know, I can cut you a sample. Out bakeries are scheduled to deliver on different days to spread out the availability of local baked goods.
I do frequently use bread as a base for samples, and if you'd like to try the bread alone, please ask (and for gluten free customers, I always have gluten-free crackers in my demo cart, let me know if you'd like a non-gluten version).
I know a bit about most of our bakeries, and I have formerly worked in bakeries, so I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the breads we carry. -Elizabeth, Demo Coordinator