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Wet Noses dog treats

Hi, I’m very happy to see you’ve started carrying Wet Noses dog treats. The ingredients are so fantastic and the treat so dog-pleasing that I used to order them direct from the company. Thank you!

Thanks! We love them, too, or, ahem, our dogs do!

mistake in recipe

Your recipe “Larry Bain’s Bubie’s Haroset,” does not list dates in the ingredients. In the directions it says to combine the other ingredients into a food processor. My question is how much dates should the recipe contain?

Thanks for your help!!!
Mona

_Thanks, Mona, for catching that error! The recipe is an old one, so I’m not quite sure what the author’s intentions were. If it were me making the haroset, I think I’d either use only prunes or use about an 1/8 pound each of prunes and dates.

soup

I had the Kale and Ham soup tonight and it was wonderful!! Absolute best soup — really hit the spot after a long day at work.

Is it possible to get the recipe? It was a chicken stock base with potatoes and kale…. other ingredients?

Thank you!!

Thanks for taking the time to tell us how much you loved our soup!

_Sadly, we’re not able to reveal our recipes; however, I can give you the ingredients. Here’s another hint: this is a pretty basic soup recipe.

Membership refund

I understand that I can request a return of my $80 membership fee if I’d like to resign my membership. How do I go about doing that?

Thanks,
Laura

Hi Laura,

_Yes, you’re absolutely correct. Members can resign their membership at any time for any reason. You’ll want to contact our Membership Coordinator, Maia Campbell at 612-279-2449 or mcampbell(at)lindenhills.coop. Maia will have you fill out a brief form. Please be aware that since membership is a legal relationship, resignations require review by the board and a fair amount of paper work on our end.

To Larry Schultz

Thank you for my local, organic eggs I had for breakfast this morning. I appreciate what you do.

Sincerely, Gina Rice
Woodbury, MN

Gina!

How sweet of you to send your appreciations to Larry. I’ll be sure to pass your note of gratitude on to him!

Allie Mentzer
Marketing & Member Services Manager

Bulk soaps/refillable containers

I just read about a store in Vancouver that carries personal soaps and household cleaners in bulk, as well as refillable containers. Wouldn’t it be cool to have that? Here’s the link:

http://www.springwise.com/eco_sustainability/vancouver-store-focuses-refillable-soaps-cleaning-products/

Just an idea…

Margie Adler

Thanks, Margie. It’s a very cool store concept! I sent the link onto our Natural Home manager, so she can drool, too. While it’s not quite as elaborate as the Vancouver store, we do offer a number of household items in bulk: Charlie’s Laundry/All Purpose Soap (in a barrel next to the Restore the Earth refillable soap dispenser), plus bulk lotions, hand soaps, all purpose soap, shampoo & conditioner across from our Health & Body Care help desk. So, refill away! And, let us know if there’s something specific you’d like to see in bulk.

Allie Mentzer
Marketing & Member Services Manager

Inhumane product on your shelves

Let me start off by saying I LOVE your new location and living in Edina very convenient to get to (now that 44th construction is done). I visit 2-3 times every week. First the positive…staff is very polite and helpful, prices are fair (I’m always happy to pay a little more for free range / humane products), and store is always clean. In addition the sandwiches made to order are delicious and the soups are fantastic.

A couple areas that could be improved upon…

The reason I’m writing is one issue both my family and our friend noticed that I would hope you would research. I see that you carry Amish eggs in your store. Many consumers have a problem with the Amish in regards to lack of humane practices in breeding and raising animals. I would ask what you reconsider having Amish food products in your store. Amish don’t believe animals have souls and in turn have little regard for their well being. If you google “Amish Animal Cruelty” you will get over ten pages of results including examples of cruelty, petitions against Amish products, investigations of inhumane treatment, and articles of numerous problems with Amish in the treatment of animals.

The second issue is not as important, but one I thought I would mention from a customer standpoint.

The signage in the parking lot is a little overkill. I understand that you want only parking for customers, but I have never seen the lot near capacity. I know Minneapolis has some parking issues but the area you are in really does not. The 20-25 signs in a small parking lot really seem to bring the curb appeal down a notch. From a customer stand point it looks tacky and cheap.

Thank you and have a great day,
Karl

Hi Karl,

Thanks so much for your kind words. We truly appreciate it.

Many of our meat & dairy buyers are animal lovers—so we have a professional and personal interest in animal welfare on our suppliers’ farms. Farmers Henhouse (I think this is the Amish brand you’re referring to) is a local company that works with several small, certified organic Amish farms.

Since our egg buyer is not available for me to ask today, I called Farmers Henhouse. In addition to organic certification, Farmers Henhouse is in the process of acquiring Humane Certification. I bet you already know that organic certification requires certain minimum standards for animal husbandry, such as cage-free living conditions. Beyond those standards, the Certified Humane Raised and Handled program requires additional training for animal caretakers. The woman I spoke with at Farmers Henhouse added “We expect all of our employees to treat our hens with respect. We would never allow someone to act in anger.”

As for the parking signs, you must be visiting us at slow times! Our parking lot does tend to get pretty packed, especially on weekends. The traffic flow is a bit odd and, unfortunately, we’re not able to change it due to city regulations. We put up additional directional signs at the request of multiple customers. Safety first!

Allie Mentzer
Marketing & Member Services Manager

Growing our own food in retail space/Parnership with Sunnyside?

I receive a weekly e-newsletter from Springwise.com, which is always full of cutting-edge, entrepreneurial ideas around the world. One time there was a story about someone who took a bicycle courier service and transformed it into a service for collecting compostible waste from restaurants. This week there is a story about a retail space where food is grown. It is another urban farming idea. I realize that maximizing the co-op’s space and how to use it is always an issue, but I was thinking that with Sunnyside next door, it might be worth investigating a partnership with them.

Outrageous prices

Hey guys and gals,

Since you moved, your prices are out of sight! And I’m not alone in my thinking. I was at a gathering last summer in Linden Hills and when the CO-OP came up as conversation that’s all people talked about, high prices.

Today for the first time ever I walked out of your store after being there less than five minutes. Garlic at $12.99/lb! Ouch! No other alternatives that I could see. Organic garlic at Whole Foods was $5.99. When people encounter this over and over again they start to take the other options: different grocery stores.

Sure you are a small operation, but you are competing with other venues. I never used to shop much anywhere else. Now I will shop anywhere else.

Dave

Hi Dave,

We appreciate your loyalty over the years—and your comment letting us know why you’re feeling less enamored with us these days. I hope you’ll understand that we are aware of the need to be as price competitive as possible. Not just because we want to increase sales, but because it’s what the people in our community need. We’re little fish in a big pond and have to weigh a number of factors when it comes to pricing. Here’s the backstory on prices:

We did not increase our prices when we moved into the new location last year—in fact, we made a specific effort not to do so. However, this summer, our main distributor, United Natural Foods, raised wholesale prices on thousands of products. UNFI is the nation’s largest natural foods distributer and our ONLY source for the majority of the grocery products we carry. We did our best to absorb some of those costs and tried to avoid raising prices on staple goods. As I’m sure you’re aware, conventional and natural food prices alike have increased this summer due to the cost of oil (transport & packaging) and a variety of influences beyond our control.

As a co-op, we take our role in the overall food economy seriously. One of the ways we do that is by nurturing the local agricultural scene—including sourcing our garlic from local farmers during the growing season. Our local farmers often cannot compete economically with California farmers. California farmers benefit from subsidized land & water, a cheap source of labor and (still relatively) inexpensive oil for transporting their produce around the globe. Our small, local farmers still struggle to make a decent living for their families—without subsidies or cheap labor. Making the investment now into building a viable local agriculture system may turn out to be the very best way to ensure food security and reasonable food prices in the future.

Like our corporate competitors, we have the option to import cheaper garlic from California or China. We can appreciate your desire for non-local, less expensive alternatives. So, our produce manager will make an effort to make these alternatives available more often in the future.

P.S. These comments are checked on a weekly basis, then discussed in our weekly management team meetings. We take comments seriously and want to take time to give them serious thought.

Sugar ON scones

We have left a comment about this in the Comments box in the past but would like to be sure this is considered!

We do nearly all of our grocery shopping at the Co-op, and we love that, but….would you please consider having your scones (and other products like it) NOT have sugar on the top? Though we know there is sugar in the product, and we’re not adverse to that, the sugar on the top seems useless and takes away from our enjoyment of the scones; we attempt to scrape most of it off and wonder why this is necessary with a Co-op product.

_Thank you for your comment.