Customer Question: Just wondering why the gluten-free bakery section keeps shrinking… it is sad to those of us who really appreciate options!
Co-op Answer: Thank you for your input! We are in the process of a major reset of our entire bakery section, to culminate in early February with new shelving and a completed new layout. Part of this reset does mean we are losing a significant amount of shelf space to increase aisle width. This unfortunately means that every section of our bakery, including the Gluten Free Section, is losing some space. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: I’m so happy about the lactose-free dairy products! Cream cheese, cottage cheese, half and half!!! Such a treat! Would love a dairy lactose free eggnog (not coconut, etc.)…
A: Thank you for your input! I will definitely look for the lactaid eggnog from one of our distributors for the next holiday season. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Amy’s pizza snacks! They are amazing and everyone will love them. (Way better tan the Annie’s ones).
A: Thank you for your input! The price point on the Annie’s is a little better, which is why I chose that one. If we get enough requests for the Amy’s we will definitely consider switching it.
Q: Lundberg Rice Chips – Santa-Fe flavor (BBQ?) not available? I loved them! Can you carry them again?
A: Thanks for your input! Unfortunately there were recently discontinued due to slow sales. You may special order these (they currently have a smaller case in a 3 pk available) and receive a special order discount. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Gratify bagel chips, gluten free. They’re great!
A:Thank you for your input in regards to your interest in the Gratify brand gluten free bagel chips. Currently our distributor only carries the Pretzel Thins from this brand. If they expand to the bagel chips, I will definitely consider bringing them in. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: The Better Chip – chipotle, whole grain chips, vegan. Please carry! Thanks.
A: Thank you for your input! These sound amazing – I am not currently seeing them as being available from any of our distributors, but I will reach out to see if they will be in the future. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Better ice cream selection. The flavors seem a little melt. Three Twins Ice Cream? Other local options. B&Js?
A: Thank you for your input! Have you tried our Cool Haus brand – they have some really fun, unique flavors. We are unlikely to carry Ben and Jerry’s as they are very widely available at other conventional stores. Look out for new, funky flavors in pints from Alden’s coming in the next month. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Halvah! Please!
A: Thank you for your input! I have been searching for quite some time for this item but I’ve been unable to find a brand without HFCS from any of our distributors. If you know of any clean brands, please reach out at any time. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please carry reusable mesh bags for produce. They’re great!
A: Thank you for your input! We do currently carry reusable bags for produce, including a cotton bag, a compostable, reusable plastic and a nylon bag. We are searching for a for a more “open weave” at customer request. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Oatly oat milk, please!
A: Thank you for your input! We are planning to bring these items in this month! -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Champagne yeast? Thank you for your input! We have been searching for yeasts, including champagne, for a while now. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find anything from our distributors or any new distributor for these items. We will continue searching for these items and bring them in as soon as we find them! -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please bring Mama’s hot sweet popcorn back.
A: Thank you for your input! This product is currently in stock! They occasionally face production issues and certain flavors will be out of stock for a period of time. This is back in now! -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Why do you carry “Dave’s Bread”? It’s awful. Doesn’t taste fresh. Not local either. How about using the shelf space for our great local breads?
A: Thank you for your input! Dave’s bread is a great, organic option, which most of our local breads are not. Also, this brand does sell and there are members and customers who enjoy having this option. If the bread didn’t sell, we certainly wouldn’t carry it. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Please bring back basil olive oil.
A: Thank you for your input! Unfortunately this product was discontinued due to very slow sales. You may still special order this item and recieve a discount for ordering by the case. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Could you please get elderberry kombucha on tap?
A: Thank you for your input! I will let the distributor know that our customers are looking for the Elderberry flavor to replace one of the others currently on tap for the winter. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Simple Mills Crackers – you carry the rosemary flavor and I wonder if you would consider also carrying the sea salt and cracked black pepper flavor – they’re yummy. Thank you.
A: Thank you for your input! I Will happily bring in this new item – these crackers are a great brand that sells well for us. Expect them in store in the next week or so. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: Sweet Rowen farm milk has been funky for around a month.
A: Thank you for your input! I’m sorry the milk hasn’t tasted right for you. I purchased it once or twice and haven’t noticed a change, outside of the normal, seasonal changes with milk. I will certainly reach out to Sweet Rowan to see if they have heard anything. -Olivia, Grocery Buyer
Q: The $6 off $25 purchase of cheese is annoying when purchasing more than $50. I could have gone around 2X but that would have been inconvenient.
A: My apologies. The program is certainly not designed to annoy anyone, but to incentivize customers to do more of their shopping at The Co-op. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Any chance y’all could request that Sarducci’s manages their parking so that their patrons don’t block the road to the Co-op?
A: Is this an enforcement issue or a design one? First time this concern has been raised with me. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Compostable bags for produce! It seems insane that The Co-op has plastic!
A: We are having internal dialog about the environmental benefit of the new BioBags which requires additional research. Please stay tuned. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Instacart is here in Montpelier now – Shaw’s and Price Chopper. I hope HMC will join – I’d buy more food from Co-op if it did. No shame in doing it – Berkely Bowl and the famous Seward Co-op in Minneapolis have done so.
A: Thanks for the request. I have made several attempts to contact someone at Instacart, but so far no one has responded. I suspect they are beyond capacity servicing their current retail partners who are regional/national chains. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Hi, for as long as I have shopped here I have periodically been dismayed at how my groceries are pushed aggressively past the cashier to be bagged. I don’t want my $4 tomatoes being shoved hard to clean space for other groceries.
A: Thanks for letting me know. Speed is certainly a factor in efficient cashiering, but should never, ever be prioritized over careful handling of the product. While we can make all our cashiers (35 of them) aware of such poor interactions, it would be extremely helpful if you can follow up with me so I can coach the individual(s) in question. You can stop by and talk with me immediately after interaction, call me, or email me. -Sonia, Front End Manager
Q: My age as a factor of many people when exiting at wast end parking lot clip over the curb. Possibly the white arrow on right side is mislocated and interferes with turning judgement.
A: This is the first I have heard it mentioned. I am happy to discus this further. Please ask for Mary Mullally if you would like to discuss in more detail. Thanks! -Mary, Facilities Manger
Q: Please add another car charger.
A: Thank you for your suggestion. We have received a few requests for an additional EV car charger and we will keep these requests in mind when considering our budget for next year. Thank you! -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: An extra EV plug would be awesome.
A: Thanks for your suggestion. We have received multiple requests for an additional EV car charger and will consider it for our next budget. -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Less single use plastics in 2019, please!
A: Plastics are a top concern for many members this year. We have taken some steps (wooden forks, BioBags) but are still reliant on plastics to a high degree. As additional items become available, we will be eager to see if they can help us in this effort. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Why did you stop offering BioBag compostable bags for produce and bulk items? The plastic ones are horrible for the environment and generally tossed after an hour or so.
A: We still offer the BioBags in bulk along with the traditional clear film plastic which some customers prefer. Two key barriers to expanding use: 1. concerns over how thin/undurable BioBags are. 2. Concerns over “green washing” and bags not being truly compostable. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Are employees showing romantic interest in customers supposed to be offering them goodies they have stashed in the backroom? Asking for a friend who works in Grocery.
A: If you have specific concerns you would live to provide, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-3219 or in person. -Kari, General Manager
Q: Please fix the checkout software so that non-members are greeted by “hello”. The current hello, non-member is obnoxious.
A: All fixed, thank you for the suggestion. -Sonia, Front End Manager
Q: More Seven Days on Wednesday! Most weeks all have been gone by 5-5:30.
A: Thanks for letting us know! Seven Days decides on the number they bring us. However, we will reach out and request more. They do make a second delivery on Fridays, in the meantime. -Stephani, CR Manager
Q: Noticed H2O filter taking 50% longer to fill a jug and going on 4 months since replacement.
A: The filter has been replaced so you should see an improvement in water flow. Please let us know if you do not. Thanks! -Mary, Facilities Manage
Q: H2O filter seems slow.
A: The water filter has been replaced so you should see an improvement in water flow. Thanks! -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Lighting is terrible. Flourescent lights are migraine trigger. Replace with more efficient lights.
A: Actually, almost all of our lighting has transitioned to LED’s. I am wondering if you would like to talk about this more? If so, please ask for Mary Mullally when you are in next. -Mary, Facilities Manager
Q: Please – a hand washing sink is needed in the dining area to wash hands before eating.
A: Thanks for your suggestion! Unfortunately it is not something we are able to do at this time but will keep it in mind if it becomes feasible in the future. Thanks. -Mary, Facilities Manager