Customer Comments 7/5/18

Grocery

Customer Question: Can you get more flavors for the Coconut Bliss ice cream bars?

Co-op Answer: Thank you for your input! Unfortunately, space in our cooler is limited and it is difficult to find room for new product.  If space opens up, we are definitely looking to expand our Coconut Bliss bars and cookies.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Fever Tree ginger beer in 4-pack small bottles.

A: Thank you for your input! We will look into adding this item to our set, possibly as a replacement for the ginger ale 4-pack.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Hot dog buns frequently sold out, especially on Sunday afternoons.  Please stock more at once. P.S. This feedback is also from last summer.  Thank you!

A: Thank you for your input.  We have spoken about this with VT Bread in an effort to have more on hand.  We will also have an additional bread rack near the front of the store to keep more product on hand. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Could the bulk laundry and dish soap be put into the same bulk bins that hold the maple syrups, oils, etc., so that they are easier and cleaner to use?

A: Thank you for your input! We are currently working on redesigning the bulk soap area with different dispensers.   -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Please carry Mom’s Munchies cookies. 
A: Thank you for your input! We typically avoid bringing in bakery items that are not local to the state of Vermont.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Please get Almond Breeze in the dairy case – can’t stand how gummy Silk is.  Thanks.

A: Thank you for your input!  We also carry New Barn and Califia Farms almond milk in the refrigerated case – both have very different textures from Silk.  I especially love the New Barn – no additives.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: No olive oil at Truckload Sale? Bummed.

A: Thank you for your input! I’m so sorry about selling out so quickly! We did have olive oil but it sold out sooner than it ever has.  We are increasing our order for the Fall Truckload to try to prevent this.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Please have charcoal during grilling season in stock and in one consistent spot – it is in random locations around the store at different times.

A: Thank you for your input! We brought charcoal in at the beginning of May – April seemed a little early as there was still snow on the ground.  As the charcoal is a seasonal item, it does not have a set location in the store and moves along with our summer/grilling displays.   -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Polar Cranberry / Lime – horrible taste unlike either fruit – has “peach pit” bitter taste. 

A: Thank you for your input! I’m sorry you are not a fan of this polar flavor.  The 12-pack is one of our highest selling polar items.  We will look at replacing the two liter with a new flavor.   -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Larabars – Blueberry and Lemon please! There are too many choc. chip flavors currently.

A: Thank you for your input! We will add the Blueberry Pie to our set.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Will you be getting Aqua Vitea’s new summer flavors on tap? Please get Watermelon Habanero and Peachmint! Thanks.

A: Thank you for your input! I will speak with the Aqua Vitea distributor about adding the new summer flavors to the tap.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Thank you for getting the UpTown Vegan.

A: Thank you for your input! I’m glad you like it – I love the Jackfruit! -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Can we get some of the Greek style coconut yogurts? Thanks!

A: Thank you for your input! We will look into finding space for the So Delicious Greek style yogurts.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: What happened to Fage Greek Yogurt 100% fat?
A: Thank you for your input! We replaced the 100% Fat Greek Yogurt with one from Wallaby, as it provides an organic option.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer  

Q: Raspberry Siggi yogurt, please! It’s great!

A: Thank you for your input! We will look into finding space to bring back a few of the Siggi’s flavors we do not currently carry in Green Mountain Creamery’s Skyr. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Please continue to sell Graeter’s Black Raspberry Ice Cream – it’s the best!

A: Thank you for your input! We brought in Julie’s Ice Cream because it is a less expensive, organic option.  We hope you like it as an option instead of Graeter’s.  We are carrying Julie’s Black Raspberry flavor.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Safe Catch canned tuna and Vital Choice canned salmon – look them up on the web – the best! Thanks!
A: Thank you for your input! We proudly support Wild Planet canned tuna and salmon because Green Peace has ranked them as the top eco-friendly canned fish.  If we see a need for a new brand, I will look into these new brands.   -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: A little difficult to get bulk laundry soaps – slow stream. 

A: Thank you for your input! We are currently working on a new system for our bulk soaps to make them more user friendly.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Miyoko’s butter, please! You carry the cheese.

A: Thank you for your input! We are definitely bringing this product in, please be on the look out in the next couple of weeks. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Please put the Against the Grain pizza on sale again! -GF People

A: Thank you for your input! Many of our sales are controlled by the National Cooperative Grocers, but we can definitely ask for an unplanned sale on this product! -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: You should get Ben and Jerry’s.  It might not be so healthy but I was looking everywhere and couldn’t find anything.  It will really help business.  Thanks!

A: Thank you for your input! Many of Ben and Jerry’s flavors are not clean and contain ingredients that are on our banned ingredients list. It is not a brand we consider because we are more interested in carrying ice cream that sets us apart – local, organic, or special in some way.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: It would be great if the coop could carry Wallaby brand sour cream – it’s the only organic brand that is 100% cream – all the others have milk and additives. 

A: Thank you for your input! Unfortunately, our distributor doesn’t currently carry that version of the Wallaby sour cream – I will put in a request with them to bring it in.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Is it possible to get Peachmint kombucha on tap in lieu of one of the current flavors?

A: Thank you for your input! I will speak with our Aqua Vitea distributors today about adding Peachmint to the taps.  It was an exciting new addition to our bottles that I think would do well.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Any chance of getting soy bologna back?
A: Thank you for your input! We do carry the Tofurky Vegan Balogna – it was out of stock for awhile but it is in now.  We discontinued the Light Life due to slow sales.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Would it be possible to stock:

-Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)

-Habaneros

-Fenugreek leaves

Thank you!

A: Thank you for your input! We will be adding “Mother in Law’s” brand Gochujang in the next couple of weeks.  For the other two items, are you looking for fresh or canned/ if you want these items added to the fresh set, please contact the produce manager, robertk@hungermountain.coop. If you were looking for jarred/canned, please contact me at oliviad@hungermountain.coop.   -Olivia, Grocery Buyer  

Q: Why aren’t we carrying the local popcorn? It was so good! Thanks!

A: Our Vermont popcorn producer, Stonewood Farm, is out of stock.  We hope to have this product return after this year’s harvest. -Terry, Bulk Buyer

Q: Three Trees organic almond milk (refrigerated)…is this a possibility?

A: Thank you for your input! This brand is not currently available in our distributor’s warehouse.  We do highly recommend New Barn Almond Milk which is a delicious, additive free almond milk in our refrigerated section.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: These (Newman’s ginger snaps) are the best! A local store stopped selling them from Randolph – there’s room on your shelf and you carry the other kinds – please order you won’t be sorry.  Newman’s makes the own family recipe ginger snaps – yummy!

A: Thank you for your input! Unfortunately, our distributor does not carry this product.  They have recently discontinued carrying it due to slow sales, so it will be difficult to get them to bring it back in.  I will keep an eye out for it in case it comes back.  -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Q: Delivery days (weekly) for Fentiman’s Dandelion Burdock drink.

A: Thank you for your input! Fentiman’s Dandelion Burdock drink is delivered every Wednesday. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer

Produce

Q: Put price signs on all items in produce, even the items you are calling “overflow” or “overstock” locations.  These are actually the first place customers see and without prices, it is confusing.

A: Because of limited space we have to keep some back stock on the sales floor.  We actually prefer that customers shop the displays, not the back stock.  Sorry for the confusion. -Robert, Produce Manager

Q: How do you make blueberries?
A: Thank you for your question! Little seeds grow into a large bush.  The bush has flowers which the bees pollinate and then the flowers turn into blueberries! -Robert, Produce Manager

Q: Please provide paper bags in produce area to reduce use of plastic bags. 

A: We have paper bags in a number of locations.  Feel free to ask if you aren’t seeing the size you want. -Robert, Produce Manager

Wellness

Q: Spry Dental Defense System gum comes in larger size package – I think 100 ct.  Please consider carrying the larger size.  Also cinnamon flavor. 

A: Thank you for your suggestion.  Space is very tight in that area, but we can special order the 100 count for you if you would like.  -Laura, Wellness Buyer

Q: Please, please, puh-lease! Get rid of the bar soap with palm oil! Palm oil is wiping out the orangutans and indigenous tribes of Indonesia and our overall future as a human race.  There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil.  Thank you!

A: Thank you for your suggestion.  I’d like to hear your ideas on alternative products.  Please contact me so we can discuss further. -Laura, Wellness Buyer

Food Services

Q: I love Joe’s soups.  Thanks for serving them even in summer.

A:You are welcome  Thank you for supporting Joe and Screamin’ Ridge Farm. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Please make sugar free whole grain fruit pie.

A: Thanks for the suggestion.  This is something you could always special order. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: GF Dumplings.

A: Do you mean as in chicken/dumplings or Asian style? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: $3.67 for an iced coffee in my own mug? Really? I’ll go to Bohemian next time ($2.00 there). 

A: It certainly isn’t inexpensive and I understand your frustration.  One difference between us and Bohemian that effects the price is that our coffees and all of the fixins for the coffee is all organic vs conventional at Bohemian.  Not exactly apples to apples. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Please consider bringing back house-made artichoke dip/tapenade…looking for gf/df alternative to hummus, etc.

A: This one predates my tenure, can you stop by and tell me about it? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Deli bar and soup has been so excellent, and also thanks for keeping it clean!
A: Thanks for the kind words – they will be passed on! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: You should switch up soups at the hot bar – it seems like you always have the same things. Thanks!

A: Joe does have a seasonal rotation of soups, though we do tend to stick with the more popular ones.  -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: It would be nice if you had something other than brown rice at the deli more often.

A: Thanks for the suggestion.  We do offer other items on the hot bar daily, though there are staples people count on like kale, tofu and rice.  Do you mean other starches or other rices? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Need roasted potatoes and sausages out for breakfast so there is an egg-free alternative.  All the sandwiches are egg and/or gluten. Need some choices!

A: We do make sandwiches to order and can accommodate this any day you like. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: The deli selection was so sad today – shelves were bare.  I am lunch hungry now.

A: Me too. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Would love to see cooked bacon added to the salad bar or grab and go.  Thanks!

A: Thanks for the suggestion.  Do you mean strips or chopped bits? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Do you think the deli could make some coffee that isn’t so bitter and strong?

A: Which brew are you having? We offer different ones from mild to dark roast every day. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Can you please replace the broken green compost bucket in the café? Very unsanitary.  Thanks!

A: Yes, we will in the near future. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Wow! Turkey bacon BLT with pesto mayo special sandwich was so good! Can this be added to the menu? I would order more sandwiches from HMC deli if this were an option.

A: Glad that you enjoyed it! We don’t typically have turkey bacon – it was a mis-pick that we got creative with.  So glad you enjoyed it! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Your deli sandwiches are amazing!

A: Yeah they are! Thanks for sharing this! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: I ate dinner from co-op food bar and chicken was raw.  Poultry, meat and fish must be thoroughly cooked to avoid possible food poisoning. 

A: Thanks for your concern.  I hope this was brought to our attention immediately so we could address any potential issue and issue a prompt refund.  We do temp our foods to ensure they are cooked to proper, safe temperatures. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: C’mon… $.99 toast? And I toasted it myself.

A: Please come see me.  I don’t fully get this – you are buying slices of bread? -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Please bring back Sunday brunch!

A: Please stop by and tell me what that means to you – the offerings and times they are being served.  I look forward to it! -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: So as I looked over the selections at the hot bar today, it’s mostly white, bland, starchy choices.  In keeping with the season, but recognizing our need right now for a bit of color, could there be more creative options offered? Thanks!

A: I hope we are meeting your needs since this experience.  Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Please bring back your delicious white (Japanese?) sweet potato puree!

A: Thanks for the suggestion. I need more details as this is a new one for me.  Please stop by and discuss with me.  -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: I think it’s great how the co-op has reduced (eliminated?) the use of plastic bags.  I wonder if you could come up with a creative solution to plastic packaging in the deli bar. 

A: Yes! I am open to any and all suggestions – realizing that the convenience of prepackaged foods is something our owners are clamoring for as indicated by our sales. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

Q: Please – when you have fish cakes, do not add bacon.  Some members enjoy fish and not red meat. 

A: Understood – we typically don’t do that but there is an older, popular salmon cake recipe that has bacon in it. -Doug, Prepared Foods Manager

General

Q: Came in Sunday AM and noticed many new stockers.  No one looked up or asked me if I needed any help.  What’s up with this?

A: My apologies.  Our expectation is that all customers receive a friendly greeting or offer for help whenever they are in close proximity to  an employee and that’s how we train folks.  Sometimes people get caught up in their other work.  We will make this a focus of future trainings. -Kari, General Manager

Q: How about a tent sale day (Thur) for members only ((1st dibs), then everyone Fri – Sun.

A: Interesting idea.  This is one of the ideas we are considering for the fall to keep the wait times shorter. -Kari, General Manager

Q: The truckload sale was very poor this time because of the way it was organized – to wait outside – slow – better when we went inside. 

A: Sorry for the inconvenience.  We agree the lines were too slow this time and we have several changes planned for fall sale (Sept 28-30) to speed things up.  -Kari, General Manager

Q: Please program register software so we can automatically “round up” like Rite-Aid does.  Thanks!

A: Thank you.  That’s a great idea and we are planning a campaign to ask members to sign up for the first part of our new fiscal year that just started. -Kari, General Manager

Q: May I suggest you all one hour early for members (7 am) and all others at 8 am.

A: Thank you, we are going to start experimenting with this idea at our fall truck load sale Sept 28-30. -Kari, General Manager

Q: Please boycott all Israeli products.  They assassinate people in Palestine. 

A: Thank you for the feedback.  A group of members raised this issue with the council recently and there is a committee discussing how to proceed.  See back for list of Israeli products we stock regularly.  -Kari, General Manager

Q: The front end wall color – green – is not visually appealing.  Please reconsider another color or shade.

A: Thank you.  Our plan is to see it with all the coverings in place and try it out for awhile.  Some people like it but if it’s unpopular we can always change.  -Kari, General Manager

Q: I’m feeling a bit burned.  I always walk to the coop (I’ve now been owned by a car in nearly 13 years), yet, the gentleman in front of me rec’d a 5% discount for bicycling to the coop.  Pedestrian discount, too? Both of us are reducing CO2 emissions!

A: Thank you for the feedback.  We recognize that biking and walking are equivalent environmentally.  Bicycle Benefits is a national program and we don’t know of an equivalent for walking.  There has been a fair amount of criticism of BB so we are reconsidering. -Kari, General Manager

Q: Why is there never any food at the sample table?

A: Sorry for any inconvenience.  Our demo is coordinated by one person who has a variety of demands on her time.  If it is helpful, we post the times of the vendor-led demos at hungermountain.coop under “Workshops and Events”. -Kari, General Manager

Q: The electric charging station has been consistently hogged by the all electric cars that sit sun tanning in their cars while charging.  Today it’s a $250,000 Tesla.  What to do to make this fair? Second station?

A: My apologies, I can’t quite make out some of this comment.  Feel free to contact me directly to discuss further at 802-262-3244.  -Mary, Facilities Manager

Q: Please clean the stools for kids in bathroom.  Thanks!

A: Will do, thank you! -Mary, Facilities Manager

Q: What’s happening with electric shopping carts for those with ambulatory issues?

A: Our new electric wheelchair is now ready and available for use. -Mary, Facilities Manager

Q: I noticed that the filtered water information is gone from the bulletin board above the tap – what it filters and the replacement schedule.  Is there any change to the filter itself?

A: Thanks for your question.  No, there are no changes to the filter, the information is just temporarily removed while we paint in that area. -Mary, Facilities Manager

Q: Please consider upgrading or replacing your wheel chair shopping cart – it is old, rusty and uncomfortable – the basket weighs on my lap, too.

A: We have done just that, we have replaced our previous wheelchair with a new electric wheelchair. Thanks. -Mary, Facilities Manager

Q: The joy of chilling one’s wine whilst shopping is a distant memory.  Please bring back the turbo chiller for the summer.  We miss her.  So does the Rose and SaviBlanc.

A: Thanks for inquiring – the wine chiller continued to break down on us, coupling this with its minimal use, we decided to discontinue its use.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  -Mary, Facilities Manager

Q: It would be lovely to have small baskets to attach or set in carts for teeny tiny items like essential oils and lip balm, etc.  Thanks!

A: Thanks for the suggestions.  I have not seen those before but I will take a look to see what is out there. -Mary, Facilities Manager

Q: Whole foods now uses recyclable utensils.  Please do this. Thank you.

A: Thank you for this thought.  We are in the process of switching to biodegradable utensils. -Emma, Customer Service Rep.

Q: Nothing says “I am not engaging with the customer” like a cashier who hums through the entire transaction.

A: I am sincerely sorry to hear that you had a poor experience, and I encourage you to contact me and/or my manager directly 802-262-3225, alisong@hungermountain.coop or soniak@hungermountain.coop to further discuss your concern. -Alison, Asst. Front End Manager