Here you will find our responses to questions and comments from our Suggestion Box as well as answers to some frequently asked questions
Suggestions from June 2020
Request that we carry…
We always seem to be out of…
Customer: I was in the store recently to buy bulk spices. The worker that I spoke with said that you were out of many of the bulk spices, and all four of the spices that I wanted were not available. Is this a temporary problem with your supplies, or is the Co-op phasing out bulk spices? I asked the worker but she didn’t know.
Co-op (Center Store) : Thanks for your question regarding the bulk spice section here at the Co-op. We have no plans to phase out or discontinue our bulk spices. We have been looking for solutions on how we could continue to keep our bulk spice section open during the pandemic. Our normal method of self serve scoop bins is not a possibility at this time so we decided to prepack our bulk herbs and spices. While we made this decision, we did limit ordering for a few days, but over the next week or so we should have most of our stock back. We are currently working on prepacking our spices and opening the aisle back up for our guests.
Customer: When I went to the Davis coop the other day, I was very pleased by seeing a part of the bulk section re-opened! I liked the pre packaged bags and thought they were done thoughtfully in a variety of sizes to meet most peoples needs. I went to buy some herbs from the herb and tea section and learned that co-op has chosen to sell out of the stock you have and discontinue that section for the time being. I was really sad to learn that as I use so many herbs/roots/seeds from that section for medicinal use. I felt a little panicked to be honest as I don’t like to bulk buy, and fear that people will buy the rest of the stock in fear that they won’t have it for a while. I know you have put so much effort into keeping that section open, and I imagine it’s become a lot of work. I would like to kindly ask you to please consider pre bagging the herbs/teas from that section. The man helping me bag the herbs for me informed me that customers have complained about the pre bagged dry goods in the other section. But how I see it, it would be better to have prebagged amounts than none at all. I would rather not have to buy my medicinal stock of herbs online, because you usually have to buy large amounts(that then don’t stay as fresh), I cannot use EBT to purchase, and it seems quite resource intensive. Hopefully prebagging of this section would not be too difficult. I figure if I feel this way, I can’t be the only customer. Thank you for your consideration, and all the work your doing during these trying times
Co-op (Center Store): Thank you for your feedback and I understand your concerns about the bulk spices and herbs. After we decided to move towards pre packing our bulk section there was about a week period where we were trying to figure out how to best support our herbs and spices. During this week we did temporarily suspend ordering some products but have since continued to order most products again. As of about a week ago we did move forward with pre bagging our herbs, spices, and teas. This has taken time and we do expect that aisle to open for customers very shortly. The bulk herb and spices are a co-op staple and we wanted to do everything we could to continue to support it during this time.
Thanks! I’d like to praise…
Customer: The Meat department. They graciously accommodated my request for freshly made burgers from your 90% lean ground beef. I suggested they carry such pre-made fresh burgers for the summer and maybe longer, as we love to make our burgers with the quality meats you carry. Less chance of contamination from the mass produced burgers from factories. Thank you!
Co-op (Meat): Thank you for your kind comment in regards to our service and your request for the Davis Food Cooperative meat department. As we are entering the summer months and continue to return to somewhat normal shopping conditions, we are looking ahead to reopening the full service meat counter with the addition of premade hamburger patties. This decision has been made since this has been brought to our attention through discussions from several loyal customers. We look forward to serving you again in the future.
What if the Co-op did this…
Customer: I was wondering for your curbside pick-up if it is possible to add Redwood Hill Farms Organic Plain Goat Yogurt Largec 32oz. (I cannot find it anywhere else) and your organic ghee in a glass jar (I cannot remember the company name). Thank you so much for offering this service. I am really grateful because I have some health issues.
Co-op (Operations): Thank you for the feedback about Curbside Pickup. While the site has been launched, we are still working every day on improving the site. Our first phase of offerings was intended to offer the items that we knew we could fulfill. Our team is now assessing inventory levels of other products and looking at how we can add a larger selection including more dairy, produce, select bulk items and also adding in frozen products. We hope to put these changes in place in the coming weeks and encourage you to keep checking back in. Thank you for your patience!
Customer: Please use twist ties or don’t knot the plastic bags with bulk foods so tight you have to destroy the bag to get the food and can’t reuse it
Co-op (Center Store): Hi, thank you for your suggestion, that’s a great idea. We will start to use twist ties on the bagged items.
Customer: I’m Pakistani. I’ve grown up eating and making all kinds of pakoras. I don’t mind that the coop carries a semi spherical garbanzo bean flour and veggie pattie. I mind that it is called a pakora because it does not look or taste anything like a pakora. It makes me very sad that people in Davis buy and eat the semi sphere and think that is what a pakora is supposed to be because it gives them a wrong impression of my country’s food. Pakoras are deep fried. The garbanzo flour batter tends to be spicy and watery so that it coats the veggies and keeps them together. The veggies tend to be in slices or chunks. Once cooked pakoras are crispy, greasy, irregular, and golden brown. I would really appreciate it if the coop renames the item they currently label as pakora to something else because it is misleading and creates a wrong impression of south asian food in people’s minds.
Co-op (Deli): Thank you for the feedback on our Pakora recipe. We acknowledge and understand this is unlike the traditional pakora you grew up eating. To provide some context, this recipe was created in 2019, during the Vegan Burger Battle Challenge which was put together by COOL Cuisine. Our staff came up with a recipe that had the taste of Pakora but would go well with a bun for a Vegan Burger. Since our fryer capacity was limited, we baked the pakora instead and our community loved them. While this was a one time challenge, we ended up making it a regular item since it became so popular for us quickly. In fact, the “Pakora Burger” ended up winning in the “Most Unique Flavor” category. While not a 100% sure (since the staff is no longer with us), I think the recipe mirrors similar to this recipe: https://www.kindearth.net/baked-pakora-vegan-indian-food/. I appreciate the suggestion for the change of name and will happily change it to “veggie fritter” (effective immediately), but please know that our intention was not to offend any culture.
Oh no! There was a problem with staff or service
Customer: Thank you for all you do. Just read in the Washington Post how important it is for the mask to fit around nose, sides, and under chin. Last time I was at the Co-op (a few wks. ago — we’re doing more curbside pickup now, but I’ll need to go back since there’s getting to be too much we need that we can’t get curbside, like produce), at least one Co-op worker was wearing a bandana, that hung down and wasn’t tucked under her chin at all. I also heard a lecture this morning by an infectious disease epidemiologist affiliated with UCSF about a study that showed the importance of the mask fitting well all the way around. Please help your workers wear a mask that fits to their face and under the chin.
Co-op (Operations): Thank you for the feedback regarding our staff member wearing their face covering incorrectly. We will follow up with all staff members to remind them that we at the Co-op are all still required to wear face coverings and ensure that we do so correctly. We appreciate you helping bring this to our attention as it is important that we continue to take precautions to keep our Co-op community safe.
Customer: The beefless vegan wrap is not good. The chunks of “steak” are huge and difficult to eat, I felt like I was eating rubber squares. I’m not vegan, I’m vegetarian so I’ve had my fair share of mock meat. There are so many better alternatives. Completely unsatisified and wasted $8! The kung pao tofu salad is really good, but I think how it’s made is not consisitent. I was getting this everyday for a while because I was obsessed with the flavors. The first couple times it was perfect and the other times I have gotten them they have been dry, flavorless, and appeared/tasted not that fresh.
Co-op (Deli): Thank you so much for your recent email in regards to your experience in our deli. I am terribly sorry that you did not have a great experience and would love to offer you a replacement lunch next time you are in. I will share your feedback with my staff and work to ensure that our recipes are more consistent. I won’t make excuses but will simply say that I appreciate your honesty very much and will work to improve!
Customer: Your website used to carry a list of the bulk foods and their associated ID numbers. That was very handy for those occasional times when one discovered the mystery bulk bag in the back of the pantry… Why did you take that down? Can you please put it back up? It was a wonderful service. In fact, your website materials now appear to be mostly fluff and devoid of content. Functional is better than pretty IMO.
Co-op (Marketing): Thank you for reaching out to Davis Food Co-op regarding your questions and comments about our website. The bulk lookup that was available on our previous website was outdated and needed a complete overhaul to reflect the changes that had been made to our PLUs. As you can see on the In-Store tab of our current website, this is a feature that we were hoping to introduce again once we have an updated database available. With a lot of changes being made to Bulk recently due to COVID-19, this is a project that has been put on hold but we hope to revisit. As for the content of the website itself, we did make a lot of changes with the recent redesign to streamline the information that we found was most trafficked and utilized by our customers. However, we are always open to hearing what specific content might be of interest to people that is currently not available. Feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions or comments.
Customer: I realize things are opening up and surging with the Covid-19. Trader Joes and Target said they are not allowing people to bring in their own bags. They say it is not safe as it contaminates things all over again. Just thought I would mention this to you. I hope you will continue what you were doing with the bags. I don’t want the virus.
Co-op (Marketing): Thank you for reaching out and expressing your concern over our allowance of reusable bags. Our decision to welcome reusable bags again came from the updated retail guide that was sent out by the California Department of Public Health. The entire document is a bit large but the piece specific to reusable bags is in the section that starts on page 6. Each register has a bottle of virucide disinfectant for cashiers to access immediately after the transaction as well as a bottle of hand sanitizer for the cashier and one at the end of the register for our customers. We have directed cashiers to thoroughly sanitize the bagging area immediately after the customer is done bagging their own groceries and encourage them to frequently wash their reusable bags. We are also still providing around the clock sanitation to the store and collecting carts for sanitizing after each use. I hope that this addresses your concern. We are committed to the safety of both our customers and employees and have been staying up to date with information from both the county and Department of Public Health to ensure that we are providing a safe shopping experience. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
Customer: Hi, I love the COOP, you guys are the greatest. However one concern I have is about mask wearing during this crisis. I notice a significant number of customers partially wearing their masks or not wearing their masks. I am hoping that you can enforce the rules that help reduce spread of the coronavirus. People are wearing the masks over their mouth and not nose, people are holding the mask with their hand which defeats the whole purpose. Outbreaks in Yolo are climbing, numbers in US are climbing, record # of deaths, etc. I would love to keep shopping at the COOP but I think your customers need to take these simple precautions more seriously.
Co-op (Operations): Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have trained our department managers and supervisors on how to address such an issue. We are kindly reminding our shoppers of the proper way to wear a face covering as outlined by Yolo County Public Health Department. If at any point in time you are in the store and see such an occurrence while shopping please help us by notifying our Front End Supervisor or our customer service desk staff and we will address the issue with the customer immediately. Thank you for sharing and helping keep our community safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a Food Co-op?
We’re a grocery store owned by our Members. Anyone can shop here and everyone is welcome to join if they choose. We’re locally-owned, but allied with other food co-ops across the country and around the world.
Do you have regular food?
We have everything you’d expect in a grocery store. In most cases, we have both the mainstream version as well as the natural foods version of any given item. Where available, we also have the local version, the bulk version, and the fair trade version! All that plus the pride of Member-Ownership, access to the most thoughtful product selection in town and a great group of fellow cooperators.
Do I have to be a Member to shop?
Everyone, not just Members, can shop here! While you aren’t required to be a Member, owning a piece of the Co-op is a fun and economical way to grow your community. Joining allows you to earn a Patronage Refund in profitable years, and you’ll enjoy many other Member-Only benefits throughout the year. Plus, your Membership shares belong to you; you can cash them out whenever you like. Our only requirement is that you have a California mailing address.
Great! Where do I sign up?
At any register in store. Fill out a short application, pay your initial investment ($10 in shares plus a nonrefundable $5 fee) and you’re in!
Is that it?
You’ll be asked to invest $20 annually in March, until you reach $300 in shares. These amounts are governed by the State of California, set in our Bylaws, and monitored by our trusty Board of Directors. You are eligible to serve on the Board if you’ve been a Member-Owner in good standing for nine months. More info about running for the Board is here.
We offer classes and events in our Teaching Kitchen and store. Whether you’re deeply involved in the Co-op or quietly buying your groceries, as a Member, you’ll have a direct say in how the Co-op is run. Your Membership will support sustainable food systems, consumer-oriented practices, and the entire international co-operative movement. Sign up for our email lists, and stay cooperative!
Do I have to use my Membership card?
It’s the best way to keep track of your purchases (also known as “patronage”). The Co-op offers Patronage Refund to all Members who are eligible in years when the Board allocates one. It works the same way as a dividend; the more you shop, the greater your investment in your community and the larger your eventual Patronage Refund will be. Membership cards and key chain tags are free.
Are share investments refundable?
Yes. Your investment is your money, and you can have it back if you wish to withdraw your Membership. You may also donate your shares. To withdraw and receive your share money back, send a signed and dated note with your address, stating your desire to withdraw your Membership, to:
Davis Food Co-op
620 G Street
Davis, CA 95616-3753
I used to be a Co-op Member, but I haven’t invested. What should I do?
It only takes a $20 investment to put an inactive Membership back in good standing. You can do that at any cash register, at any time. If your name has changed since the time your old Membership was active, we’ll need to know the old name. If you withdrew your Membership, you’ll need to start a new one.