Davis Food Co-op

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Location
620 G Street (at 6th Street, in the G Street Shopping Center)
Hours
Daily 7 AM-10 PM (meat, deli, and olive bar close at 9:30 PM) (Patio Beer Taps 11 am - 8pm)
Phone
(530) 758-2667
Website
[WWW]DavisFood.coop, [WWW]DavisCoop.com (same website)
Established
1972
Payment Methods
Cash, credit card, Davis Dollars
Those without a Food Co-op membership pay 5% higher than the listed price of items. The Food Co-op honors membership in other food co-ops as a courtesy.

  1. Membership
  2. History
  3. Foods, Services, & Products
  4. Current Issues
    1. 2014 Election
    2. Competition
  5. Past Issues
    1. Past Elections
    2. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions
    3. Election: Loan for Remodel; Board of Directors
    4. General Manager termination
    5. Satellite Store
  6. Special Events
    1. Wine Tastings
    2. Classes
    3. Annual Meeting
    4. In the Media
  7. Reviews
    1. Older Reviews

The Davis Food Co-op is a natural food-oriented grocery store. It is one of many cooperatives in Davis. They position themselves as a "crossover" store, meaning they have health/natural foods as well as mainstream grocery products. They are complete with bulk bins, organic and non-organic produce, and so-called natural foods galore. Everyone can shop, anyone can join, and non-members pay 5% over shelf prices. If members volunteer, they enhance their member benefits with discounts (see below). They publish a number of helpful food-related pamphlets; look for them in their demo kitchen in the back of the store, or find them [WWW]on the website.

They have a full deli, with a selection of goodies that changes daily. Baked goods are made in-house. The Deli also sells organic & local soft-serve ice cream, and as of 2012, draft beer. The tap selections include a gluten-free cider, and Kombucha. The Co-op offers a variety of bulk coffee, with their bulk and packaged offerings including coffee from the Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, Equal Exchange, The Pepper Peddler and Folgers alike, tea, spices, and herbs. The Co-op used to provide a free Public Internet Terminal, provided by DCN — but there is no longer a space or a well-configured [WWW]booth box kiosk to run it. Outside the Co-op is a rather large tomato, a Carrot (with a tile homage to the history of Co-op icons & logos), and three pedestals of concrete for future art display. The entire frontal exterior was originally a salute to a local architect's desire to be put on the post-modernist map. Sheesh, you could put a tractor on top of the girdered front roof and it would not sag a millimeter.

co-op_mural.jpgMural behind the cash registers Shopping here is a social occasion, as one may always finds one's friends (or acquaintances) here. Even the employees — if in a "good" mood, you will probably come to know by their first names. Beginning April 22, 2011 (Earth Day), the Co-op changes it's paper bag policy: they continue to offer a 5¢ rebate for every bag you bring and use for groceries, but they will begin charging members 5¢ for every new handled paper bag. For non-members, the bag charge will be included in the non-member surcharge of 5%. This charge reduced paper bag usage by about two-thirds from Earth Day in 2011 to 2012.

The Co-op offers "Weekly Specials" and "Co+op Deals" ([WWW]http://www.davisfood.coop/goodfood/sales Specials change every Wednesday, and Deals every other Wednesday). They used to offer "11 on 11" sales on the 11th day of the month, which featured 11% savings in a particular category of food or objects; some examples were "beer" and "personal water bottles." Every so often, the Co-op will do a "30 on 30" Wine Sale—a one day event where wine priced at $29.99 or higher is 30% off. When the checkout lines get long, particularly during sales and holidays, you'll often find Co-op employees walking around offering free cookies to customers waiting in line. Patrons looking for free food should be aware that the dumpster is now under lock and key.

The Co-op is known for being a generous and helpful member of the community. They have supported the Holiday Meal, Food Not Bombs, On Campus Co-ops, and KDRT among others. In other words, they really "walk their talk". The DFC roof is festooned with photovoltaic (solar) panels that provide "substantial" power, although that's a small portion of the store's electricity usage (given the number of freezers, refrigerators & other electrical equipment). Outside, there's a barrel for recycling wine corks.

You can learn about the more than 30 other co-ops in Davis and Yolo County by visiting them at the same web site [WWW]http://www.community.coop/davis

On July 7, 2005 60-year old Ed Maxie, a Co-op employee, collapsed from a heart-attack while working. CPR was performed by another Co-op employee, but Ed died in the store. The store stayed open for the day.

coopbuffet.jpgThe hot foods section of the buffet The 2008 Renovations include a large new buffet. Currently, there's a Indian food buffet, a general hot food buffet, and a salad bar. There's quite a bit of variety in the general hot food buffet (chicken, turkey meatballs, macaroni and cheese, baked potatoes, vegetables, etc.) and in the salad bar (not just lettuce and other salad components, but pre-made salads and fruit as well). All the different items are labeled and marked if they're Vegan or Co-op Creations. The buffet food is all $7.99/lb. In 2013, the Deli added organic soft serve Straus ice cream, and beer & cider taps for draft service on the Patio.

Their Annual Report (June 2010, page 3, mailed with the June newsletter) reveals that their gross profit margin was 35.72% in 2009 (end date was misprinted). It also reveals that even with a margin target of over 35%, their profit margin was only 0.55% of income. One primary cause is the massive investment in fixtures and equipment from 2007 to 2011.

There is a Safe Credit Union ATM at the store. It is part of the Co-op ATM network and is free of charge for members of credit unions.

As of 2012, the Davis Food Co-op has installed a bike repair station.

Stolen Shopping Carts: The Co-op shared the following on Facebook on Dec. 6, 2012: On November 16, a flock of our beloved green shopping carts went missing. If you see one around town, please help us get it home! 530-758-2667, ext 152

Also see the Grocery Store Price Comparison Page.

Membership

To join, you need to pay a $5 one time non-refundable membership fee and buy at least $10 worth of shares. In each successive year, you will have to contribute at least another $20 worth of shares annually. If/When you decide to leave Davis, or the Co-op, you can cash out your shares. If you don't want to pay the five bucks for the membership card, wait until September when the new member recruitment drive occurs. There is a $300 share cap, which can be changed by a majority vote of members in any election. You can do all $300 the first year, or at any time. Feel free to also list other members of your household (roomies, family members) under your membership - they get cards too, and then you can make your spouse or whoever go and do the shopping.

Note that the Co-op encourages member participation on several levels. There are a variety of volunteer positions available within the store and during special events, such as the community meal, the haunted house, or the Annual Children's Parade. For a mere 2-8 hours of service per month, you can get 5% off your purchases. If you can work 4-6 hours per week (Monday to Sunday), you qualify as a Super Worker and get a 16.5% discount on all purchases. Your household members can volunteer for you. The amount of time you need to work to qualify for discounts depends on how many members there are in your household. Member Work hours bank/roll over; for example, you could work an 8 hour stretch and get 4 months of 5% off. But because of the higher skill/training requirements of a Super Worker position, you can't bank Super Work hours. It's never completely simple, is it?

You have to attend a Member Orientation, which is about 90 minutes long, before you can start volunteering — however, you can apply this time towards your service hours (sometimes even retroactively so your discount starts the same month).

With your member card, you get a discount or special offer at these and other establishments:

Watermelon Music (207 E St.),
Vitality for Life Massage (681-0475),
University Imports Automotive (1505 A Fifth St.),
Three Palms Nursery (756-8355),
SPCA Thrift Store (corner of Third & I Streets),
LoisRichter, Computer Training & Editing (758-5058),
Redwood Barn Nursery (1607 Fifth St.),
Optical Phases (718 Second St.),
The Naturalist (605 Second St.),
Monticello Seasonal Cuisine (630 G St.),
The Bo Tree (757-6463),
Balance the Center Massage (758-9339),
Armadillo Music (205 F St.),
Angie's Beauty Salon (759-0775),

History

Started in a Davis campus co-op living room in 1972 with Ann Evans as one of the founders, the Davis Food Co-op has grown into a full-service food cooperative owned and operated by almost 10,000 local households.

When operating as a buying club in 1972, the organization was known as "The People's Food Conspiracy." Ann Evans hired Martin Barnes to be manager soon after he arrived as a UCD student in 1972. The workers would meet at the Methodist Church on Anderson Road and divide up blocks of cheese, bags of flour, etc. Each block captain would pick up the food and bring it to their neighborhood.

At a meeting in 1976 in the CA House backyard Jim Eklund and Martin Barnes proposed to move the buying club into a storefront. At the next meeting Henry Esbenshade said he found an empty storefront on L Street. Mary Tappel offered to pay the first and last month's rent to get them started.

They had a lot of fun opening the new store. It was something in real life that was theirs and they spent countless hours there away from their studies — painting, organizing, and having hours of meetings with lots of laughter.

In 1978 the Co-op moved to a larger location, behind the car wash on L Street - the address was now on Fifth Street. Because the store was successful, it was gradually able to expand into more rooms of this building, eventually taking over the whole back half. Ann Evans spearheaded the incorporation of the Davis Food Co-op as a California Cooperative corporation. She became the President of the Board of Directors, and the Davis Food Co-op, Inc. gradually took over ownership and operation of the Davis Food Co-op store.

Since March, 1984 the Co-op has been at 620 G Street. In 1990, the Co-op purchased the G Street building which it had been leasing. Renovations and remodeling were done in 1992 and 1997. In 1997 the final quarter of the G Street building was purchased by the co-op. 1 Doug Walter describes the early history of the G Street location as "...shaky, burdened by the failure of other shops in the rest of the building. We continued to improve our store, took over the master lease, found tenants for empty spaces, and finally (in the late Eighties) began a double-digit sales growth spurt."

The Co-op began in 1972 and is celebrating 40 years as a community institution. From September 7 to 9, 2012, there was a "Fantastic 40 Sale" with [WWW]selected products on sale for about 40% off retail (for cases or large units).

Foods, Services, & Products

The Davis Food Co-op has signed on to the [WWW]Friends of the Earth Pledge for GE-Free Seafood, which asks grocers to commit to the following: "It is our policy to not knowingly purchase or sell genetically engineered (GE) salmon or other GE seafood, should it come to market."

Current Issues

2014 Election

The 2014 Election is on! DavisWiki gives co-op members another chance to interact with candidates, who may (or may not) also choose to edit the Election page.

From the [WWW]Co-op's Election Page:

Competition

There's a lot of competition in Davis for your food dollars. Prices for food are really high at the Co-op, organic and non-organic. It is expensive. Some members and non-members can't afford to go there any more. You only go there for specialized products that you can't find at Farmer's Market, Safeway, Savemart, Whole Foods, Nugget, West Lake, Trader Joe's. Whole Foods is getting fall out Co-op business. The rise in prices usurps the 5% discount for participating members and the Superworker 16.5% discount.

To support this assertion, please cite a product and price, or this statement should be deleted. Whole Foods is actually struggling, as evident by the illegal signs they have placed on the median and city-owned guardrail. Produce is frequently cheaper at the Co-op than farmers market (from same farms), and bulk foods are cheap and unavailable elsewhere. Some national brands are cheaper at national chains because of national purchase agreements, but few Co-op shoppers are looking for those. — ScottLay

Past Issues

Past Elections

The Spring [WWW]Election is finished, as of 5/24/13. The Annual Membership Meeting was on May 19 at the Davis Senior Center; it is a [WWW]free, ticketed event for members of the Food Co-op. There's a wiki page about the election if you have questions and/or comments.

The Spring 2012 Election began April 25, and ended on May 25 at the close of business, in the 2012 Co-op election. Wiki users can comment with a visit to the 2012 Wiki Co-op election page. The results, election calendar and links to the Declaration of Candidacy form & background for the Board of Directors is available on [WWW]Co-op's Election "hub" page.Spring 2011 Election: voting ended on June 10 in the 2011 Co-op election. Wiki users can comment with a visit to the 2011 Wiki Co-op election page.

The 2010 Co-op Election voting ran from April 27, 2010, when ballots were first received in the mail by shareholders, to Friday, May 28. To see what wikizens had to say about this, please visit the 2010 Co-op election page. The [WWW]Voter's Pamphlet is available for download. (Some grammarians feel that "Voters' Pamphlet" would be more appropriate, but the [WWW]Co-op Bylaws use the singular possessive.)

There were a number of views expressed about the 2008 Co-op election and you can view the page by visiting the link below.

Two major issues facing the Davis Food Co-op in early 2007 were the planning of a remodel of the G Street store and the possibility of opening a smaller satellite store in West Davis, in the former location of Food Fair.

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions

A group of members of the Co-op proposed a [WWW]member initiative to have the store boycott Israeli products (which included feta cheese, couscous, a couple of beauty products with Dead Sea salts, and Palestinian-made humus and olive oil which was then exported thru Israel). The Co-op Board of Directors reviewed the initiative and [WWW]found it not to be for a "lawful and proper purpose", as required under the Bylaws. It's also illegal at the federal level for any US based store to take part in trade boycotts. The Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions page has more information.

Election: Loan for Remodel; Board of Directors

The DFC has finished the phases of a major remodel proposed in 2007 (and first discussed in 2005). This required a large loan, which is expected to consume DFC's profits, meaning that members can expect no patronage refund for some years to come, but the other benefits to members have kept cash-flow positive during a period of intensifying local competition, and recession. According to then-Board President Darius Pazirandeh, the renovation was necessary due to safety issues that naturally result in aging stores. Problems such as crowded aisles and other inconveniences will be addressed in the project. Mr. Pazirandeh, other current Board members, and current DFC management support a 30-year loan with a principal of more than $3.5M to finance this remodel, while a number of past Board members and other DFC members oppose this method of financing.

All parties agree that a remodel is necessary and desirable; the debate is centered around how extensive the remodel should be and how to finance it. [WWW]Cooperatives exist to meet common needs of members, not to produce profits per se.

On 30 May 2007, the membership voting concluded in the Davis Food Co-op Spring 2007 Election. In addition to electing three directors to the Board, the membership voted to approve a 30-year loan to finance a store remodel. The Pro and Con arguments regarding this loan measure are available on the Remodel Ballot Argument entry.

General Manager termination

On 2014-02-21 Eric Stromberg, General Manager since 2000, was given a letter stating he had been terminated. This angered many Co-op members as it was perceived as an "out of the blue" act and was voted upon in closed session. This action had been determined at the [WWW]2014-02-06 Special meeting.

Satellite Store

In late 2006, several long-time DFC members publicly advocated for a satellite store in West Davis. West Davis residents responded favorably to a poll.

Special Events

Wine Tastings

Wine tastings occur in the Co-op Conference Room (usually) the first three Friday nights of the month from 6 to 8pm. There is a fee of $1.00 per wine tasted (usually $4 for a flight of beers), with profits donated to a charity or event.

Upcoming [WWW]Tastings are updated on the Co-op's Events web page.

Classes

The Co-op Teaching Kitchen is located at 537 G Street. Adult classes are demonstration-style with samples and recipes, and are limited to 14 adults. Kids Can Cook! classes are hands-on, aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, and are limited to 12 students. Classes have a fee (with a discount for members); details and schedule are available on the [WWW]Co-op website.

Annual Meeting

Held often in May and recently at the Davis Senior Center Multi-purpose Room, this event is a free, ticketed event for members and their guests. Co-op members are introduced to the candidates for the Board of Directors and hear highlights from the year. All are invited to share food and discussion of the Co-op.

In the Media

The Co-op was featured on Fox40 in a ~2 minute bit at 7:10am on Friday, July 16, 2010. The story talked a little bit about their history, their cooking classes, and foods featured there.

[WWW]Feature story about one of the cooking class instructors in a July 2010 blog post by Davis Life Magazine.

Students in a UC Davis Technocultural Studies class created a short film piece (~9 min.) about the Davis Food Co-op and the community around it. The film won Best Community Media at the 2011 UC Davis Film Festival [WWW]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW1D8JVdzfo Please note that there at least one fundamental inaccuracy in this film: the Co-op is a consumer cooperative, not "worker owned" as it says about 0:35 in.

Reviews

Older Reviews

Current Reviews

Note: You must be logged in to add comments


2011-03-12 23:53:23   I love the DFC. I work there (In the deli and in the meat department), most of my friends work there, i spend most of my time there, and I buy most of my groceries there...pretty much everything I remember to buy before 10pm when the store closes. To me, here are the best deals/secrets in the store:

*bulk dried refried beans. They sound gross, but they're just as good as normal refried beans! Add hot water and a little salsa, and you have some really really inexpensive chili, mi amigo. Dip some chips in it.
*bulk tea. A great opportunity to try out new types. You can use a lot of the teas to make infused vodkas too! Hibiscus vodka is delicious, by the way.
*MEAT: fresh, or on aisle 4 by the cakes! Usually 3 types of ground meat, as well as a bunch of meat marked 1/2 off, all the time. You never know what it's going to be, but usually there's some really good stuff! Take it home, throw it in the fridge for tomorrow, you're set for dinner. Aisle 4 meat is a good opportunity to try the weird stuff, like elk, buffalo, or the ridiculously expensive cuts that you could only afford if they're half off.
*Deli stuff: Hot Food goes on sale around 7 every night, hot food and salad bar DISAPPEARS at 8. So, 7-8 is the magical time, people. Also, you can get pretty much the most delicious sandwiches ever until around 9pm every night. Veggie $4.99, includes tofu!
*TUESDAY MORNINGS 10AM we have a new parent network. If you are a new or expectant parent and you want to hang out with other new or expectant parents, come by the Teaching Kitchen every Tuesday! It's fun, there are lots of babies, and there's always a cool topic and there are definitely snacks. I like it because babies are adorable. Dads are welcome and encouraged to come too!! —mshernock


2011-03-28 17:21:44   You have got to love the discount organic bananas! —DanielleC


2011-04-06 20:45:29   I love you co-op! You have the most wonderful staff and yummy food. Oh! and you have the best meat dept. in town. —MaryMurphy


2011-04-13 20:44:37   This is the best place to hang out in Davis. The staff is amazing, the events are fun and educational. The groceries are top notch and mostly chemical free. Great selection of wine, cheese and beer, and additive free cakes and bread. Groceries without plastic FTW :) —MichaelNielsen

Yes, preservative free everything is wonderful. You dont need chemical preservatives as the sugar/vinegar is preservative in itself. However, fresh food is so much better. Icecream with only 5 ingredients, milk without additives and homogenization, whipping cream with only 1 ingredient (I find it fail that the coop even has the ones with additives, though), jam containing ONLY berries and sugar, tomato paste with only tomato, etc... When I buy stuff I always look at the ingredient list if it looks industrial (fail) or like a homemade recipe (win). -MichaelNielsen


2011-04-14 22:12:07   @Joe&Nick Ah, haha :) Yes, I found it strange in the beginning, too - because to me it was a given that a lot of the things that aren't "natural" by default were "natural". When I first came to the US and didn't know of The CO-OP, I was appauled by the ingredient lists I found in the supermarkets, and would spend hours reading the lists on all the many manufacturers of each product in vain. When I found the CO-OP it was a like a safehaven :) But from reading all those crazy ingredient lists I realized why it is good to have those labels, even if "artificial" is implied. We know what they mean. I don't know if those labels are protected by law like biodynamic and organic is. They should be. —MichaelNielsen


2011-04-18 10:39:35   I've reviewed 6 different amber ales from the coop as to find the best one to stock up for my fiancée: Green lakes, Eel River, Jamaica "red ale", Full sail, Flat tire, Boont. No. 1: Eel River. slightly sweet, medium bitter and floral, 5/5, distinctive toffee flavor.
No. 2: Jamaica red ale: A powerhouse on all counts, well balanced sweetness, bitterness, floral notes, 4/5

These are the two I'd buy. I'd definitely go for the toffee notes in eel river as it is like the one I know she loves from a Slovenian restaurant that brews its own beer in the cellar.

I wouldn't buy the others. Full sail and Flat tire got 3/5, being mellow, Flat tire had some more bitterness and creaminess, but weak.
Boont and Green lakes got 2/5: Boont tasted like metal and green lakes was weird.

A coop employee was very kind to help select 6 ambers for me to review. —MichaelNielsen


2011-06-04 20:13:02   I have been living in Davis for a year and I believe the prices at the Co op are outrageous. Being a community oriented business, the Co op should consider lowering their prices so more citizens of davis can afford healthy organic foods. —DanRohn


2011-09-29 21:00:16   Big fan of the Co-op! While it can be expensive in some respects, I agree with a comment that someone else made about the "real" cost of food. My conscience feels at ease in the Co-op and the staff have always been super nice to my wife and I. I'm planning on volunteering for some discount and to just have another excuse to be in the store. I want to take some cooking classes also. Go co-operatively owned enterprises!!! —ConsciousConsumer


2012-01-22 20:14:18   How late is the Deli open? Not until 10pm, I've found. —NicholasBarry


2012-01-22 22:17:04   Most definitely the best store in Davis! The vegan American flatbread pizza (http://sometimesiveg.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/5935650656_808a0a6f3a-150x150.jpg) is soooo delicious. We can find everything we need here. Almost everything, because Co-Op doesn't have fresh yeast! Hint Hint Hint! (this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e9/Compressed_fresh_yeast_-_1.jpg/220px-Compressed_fresh_yeast_-_1.jpg) Fresh yeast is better for baking bread and we bake fresh bread. So please, Co-Op? —ConstantiaOomen


2012-03-08 16:12:10   Wow, thanks so much, Doug & Co-Op. I hope other people will start buying it too, it's makes your fresh bread, cake etc. so much better. Bread etc. rises a lot better with fresh yeast. —ConstantiaOomen


2012-03-27 17:14:10   The red bananas are amazing! And the cashiers and staff are super nice too. Good prices, good people, good food. One of the reasons I love Davis. —Ziwei.Hu


2012-04-18 18:28:18   Today I baked bread with the (new) fresh yeast of Co-Op Davis. It's the best. The bread is well risen, has an airy structure, tastes a lot more natural and the bread is a lot softer. I recommend every one who bakes anything, to use the fresh yeast (in the fridge) of Co-Op. —ConstantiaOomen


2012-04-29 15:26:18   Does any know if they carry Shirataki noodles? —ttl
* Yes, we have "House Foods Tofu Shirataki" spaghetti and fettucini noodles on Aisle 8. The spaghetti is on sale through tomorrow, 5/1/12 —DougWalter


2012-05-05 13:59:07   I am reading "the Vine" newsletter of the Co-Op of May 2012. On page 12 H.L.C. makes a remark on push pins on the "public notice board" and the wind making them fall down. I know H.L.C. who is writing this, because I was talking to her that day we stood there, and we kept picking them push pins up from the ground. There were dozens of them lying there! in front of the public notice board. The wind was blowing hard, like today, and we saw the push pins fall down on the ground because of this. We stood there, talking for about one half hour, and we both saw what the wind did. I reject the answer of Julie Cross (sorry, Julie), who makes the suggestion that "a bigger kid entertained himself by pulling those tacks out". This simply isn't true, because H.L.C. and I were standing there, and saw the wind rip them out, especially on the left side, like H.L.C. stated in "the Vine“, piece by piece. At some point we had picked them all up, but ten minutes later, again there were at least a dozen on the ground. The wind rips at the paper on the board, and the tacks come loose.

IMO Julie's remark that she has been keeping a close eye on them, and then coming to this conclusion, can't be true. The public notice board is totally rotten, especially on the left side, and H.L.C. has a substantial point in pointing (!) this out. This IS very dangerous to children, and I sure hope that the board will be replaced instead of waiting for that one, maybe lethal, accident with a push pin.
I invite everybody to go check the bulletin board on windy days, like today, because I am quite sure with strong winds, there again will be tacks on the ground.
The wind is “that bigger kid.” ;-)

PS: here a recent, lethal accident with a push pin, a three year old boy dies: [WWW]http://www.sandiegopersonalinjury-law.com/2012/01/boy-fatally-chokes-on-pushpin-family-files-wrongful-death-suit.shtml


2012-05-06 12:25:28   Thanks for the reminder, Constantia. I've just texted the co-op to remind folks to check and see if this is a problem today - it hasn't been since the day I saw you there. —JulieCross


2012-05-06 15:36:02   Hello Julie... great, thanks. I hope that Co-Op will be able to replace the old bulletin board. It would look nice and is safer... —ConstantiaOomen


Pliny_thumbnail.jpgA June 2012 sign about Pliny the Elder (a beer) 2012-05-29 08:19:10   I am somewhat of a fan of Pliny the Elder, (the beer, not the guy.) and haven't been able to find it at the coop for quite some while. Now I learn that it is kept hidden in the back somewhere. WTF? —PaulThober


2012-07-25 14:38:41   The Co-op is a great place to get kegs of beer of various sizes. I have been working with the lovely Claire for over a year now purchasing a number of kegs from the Co-op for social functions. Her customer service and helpful attitude have made shopping at the co-op an absolute pleasure. They have a binder where you can order kegs from an extensive listing of breweries for nearly everything from local breweries to even Belgian varieties. (They can even get Abita for you Mardi Gras veterans.) She has made several phenomenal variety suggestions based on my palate and has been willing to order custom kegs from me with no hassle. —SFine


2012-08-05 15:14:40   My comments here are intended to give insight to the Co-op to a potential member population and resources that I think might be overlooked. I admit that I am not a member of the Co-op (though I plan to join soon) and my comments may not encompass the values, mission and current structure of the Co-op. However, I believe that the comments I make to the Co-op may shed a light on an essential gap that exists between the Co-op and prospective new members and expansion of the business base. I've tried to be as straight forward and concise as possible.

Even though I've lived in Davis for most of my life, and I've been aware of the Co-op, I haven't, until recently, realized the benefit and reasons to stop at the Co-op. To start, my family doesn't invest in sustainable living at all and weren't involved in the community growing up. It wasn't until the past year that I've discovered sustainable living practices and began to apply them to my own life. I'm relatively new to this way of living and would like to learn more. I feel that some basic information about what sustainable living is, and how the Co-op can help you achieve and contribute to sustainable living is important. While the main website mentions sustainable living, there's a presumption that the person viewing the page already knows what sustainable living is, why the Co-op finds importance of sustainable living, and how the Co-op helps to achieve sustainable living.

I have several comments organized below in order to provide some in-depth insight to some issues I see and would personally, love to see addressed.

Website
The website focuses quite a bit on the board of directors. I'm not entirely sure as to what the website design purpose was, but to me, the site design doesn't focus on the overall goals of the Co-op. It seems that the site is afflicted with a bit of "information overload" in certain places and lacks information in other areas that I would be interested in (products & services). Additionally, I am disappointed that the Annual Report is buried in the Board of Directors page.

While local products are listed out, hyperlinks to the individual websites is not offered. While I've been told I can buy a local product, more information is lacking that I would like to use in order to assess whether or not I would like to actually purchase the product. While I know this can be perceived as a nit-picking subject, providing the name of the provider and not a link diminishes the purpose of listing the providers: information.

I am thoroughly impressed with the Sacramento Natural Food Co-Op's approach on their produce page ([WWW]http://www.sacfoodcoop.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=27&Itemid=73). This provides me with a link to where my food came from. In addition, I really like their local growers map. However, this map falls short as well. I'm told the name of the business/provider but not what products the name is associated with.

In short, the website fails to pull me in and leave me feeling informed. Also, the link to P6 which claims to offer additional information about the Co-op does not provide me with additional information. The P6 page for the Davis Food Co-op is blank.

If there is additional information that addresses these concerns, after digging around the Co-op website for ten to fifteen minutes, I have not found it. This is a fatal flaw in the website design. I have failed to be informed by the site and I cannot find the information I'm looking for in an easy and efficient manner.

Annual Report
When I reviewed the most current Annual Report, I found myself disappointed as well. The brochure layout is difficult to read in PDF format. While I can still reasonably read the information presented, it would be easier to read if it were laid out in a single page format. In addition, even though the report lays out a table comparing FY 09-10 and FY 10-11, I am forced to scrutinize a six digit cash value and determine the difference in my head. While the information is useful and I can arrive at the calculation on my own, I'd really like to see another column that represents the difference between the two fiscal years. The intent of the balance sheet has been overlooked, and is ineffective as a graphic. Although the differences are discussed in the text below, I have to hunt for this information. The Annual Report should be easier to understand and laid out in a user friendly manner. In addition, the last panel which lists an exhaustive list of community sponsorship does not encourage me. I like that month-by-month highlights are provided with dollar amounts, however, the list that comes after that simply lists additional contributions does not encourage me. <b>There is no transparency.</b> The total dollar amount given back to the community is not noted. In order for me to figure out this information, I would need to go through your entire list and contact the individual agencies and do my own research.

I do not feel the Co-op is being intentionally deceptive with the Annual Report, but I do feel as though the Annual Report was not put together with the aim at educating members and keeping them well informed. The final product may not have been scrutinized as thoroughly as it should. I believe some basic attention to detail is missing, reinforced by grammar and spelling errors found throughout the Report. While this is understandable, and I do believe the people at the Co-op are hardworking people, blemishes such as this can really tarnish the Co-op and the reputation of the Co-op.

While interesting, the Annual Report fails to inform current members. I'd like to see the mission and values stated in the Annual Report, better graphics/tables regarding the current fiscal situation, current efforts to meet and exceed the mission and values, future efforts and a high light of achievements from the year. I want to feel well informed about current issues and future issues surround the Co-op. I want to feel included through informative information. I feel the Co-op has a well fleshed-out idea, and now it's time to really lay down some structure and establish a common format that will be used in future annual reports in order to maintain consistency in information and instill trust that the Co-op is being completely transparent.

Social Media
According to the 2010 census, 33.2% of the Davis population is made up of the 18-24 age group and 22.6% of the Davis population is made up of the 25-44 age group. This represents 55.8% of the Davis population and does not include the UC Davis Campus.

This means that at minimum, you can be assured that the 33.2% of the population composed of 18-24 year olds are actively using social media. Specifically, Facebook. Social media is quickly replacing mainstream media sources. Utilized correctly, social media can greatly increase your ability to reach out to the community. In addition, the Davis Food Co-op Facebook page insights that are viewable by the public identify the 25-34 year old age group as the "most popular age group" (people who talk about your page). Obviously, the Co-op Facebook page is being read and used. I myself have subscribed to the Co-op updates. However, I find this pointless as often events are not publicized at least a week in advance, and reminder updates regarding events are not put out. By the time I check my news feed, events have started and as I have chosen to be car-free, I can't make it across town in a reasonable amount of time to participate OR posts are so last minute that I just don't even bother to go because I've made other plans. One such example taken from a July 20, 2012 posting is: "Sierra Nevada tasting starting in just 15 minutes. 6-8pm, $5 gets you samples of all 8 beers and helps feed hungry kids - what's not to love?".

I'd really love to see more frequent updates regarding events, better time spacing and the events function that Facebook offers used. This would also allow the Co-op to gain insight as to how their information is being disseminated throughout the community and help focus their message and methods of communication.

Interactions at the Co-op
I've been to the Co-op three times in the past three months. Each time I've arrived, I've been overwhelmed at the selection at the Co-op. This is awesome! However, I find myself lost and intimidated by the amount of choices that I have, and I have no idea where to look for most items. To my dismay, a graphic displaying the layout isn't in sight, and my attempts to find help have failed. I look to find people to help me, and I cannot find them which is dismaying because on one of these occasions, I was looking for a salve that I knew the Co-op carried though I couldn't remember the name and was hoping to find someone to help me find it who worked there and was familiar with the products. I spent 20 minutes trying to find what I was looking for. In the end, I was successful, but I was irritated.

In addition, the three times I was rung up, I was asked if I had a Co-op membership. I said no, and the cashier didn't attempt to ask me if I was interested in signing up for one. I found this shocking at first, and felt that I had been dismissed. I didn't follow up with the cashier about a membership which is a lack of assertiveness on my part. The two following purchases yielded the same response from cashiers. It was rather confusing and disappointing and makes me not want to seek out a membership or inquire further. This isn't Target where I'm not interested in additional features, this is the Co-op, based around community involvement. When I feel unwelcome and uninvited, my interest to be part of it disappears. I don't feel a sense of community. I feel an atmosphere that is selective.

My Goal
The Co-op is awesome. Despite these draw backs, I will still be joining the Co-op. However, as a prospective member, I feel there is ample room for improvement. This is my way of trying to help as a Davis resident and member of the community. —MichelleKoehler


2012-08-06 20:43:26   I'm Lis Harvey, the new Communications Coordinator at the Co-op. MichelleKoeller, thank you for your thoughts! We appreciate feedback. I am very sorry to hear you felt "unwelcome and uninvited" when a cashier did not ask if you wanted to set up a membership. There could have been a line of other shoppers behind you, or your body language might have been misinterpreted. Without a date or the name of the cashier, it is hard to investigate what went wrong. Our staff does try to intuit when people are in a hurry, and we are very respectful of the time each transaction takes—particularly during busy hours of the day. However, we would love, love, love to have you as a member, and would love to help you become one. Everyone is welcome to shop the Co-op, and anyone can join! That is true from 7am to 10pm, 364 days a year. Ask any staff person for a membership application (or email Membership if you would like one in the mail), and you'll be pointed in the right direction. Our annual membership drive begins August 29, but a quick walk back to the Membership Office on a weekday (past Mermaid Sushi and around the corner before the restrooms) is the fastest way to join.

I'm excited about the changes we have in store for the Co-op this fall: we are unveiling a shiny new website in September, installing a series of energy-saving doors along the Dairy aisle (reducing the energy usage in that area by a whopping 70%!), and outfitting our staff in new aprons and vests that will help you find the right person to ask, next time you're in the store and hunting for a hard-to-find product. Some great events on the horizon are the Teaching Kitchen's Birthday Party (8/26), the Fantastic 40 Sale (9/7-9), and our annual Eat Local Fair (9/28) & 40th Birthday Bash. That's not to mention our Friday-night wine tastings, cooking classes, and more. As far as events are concerned, [WWW]http://www.davisfood.coop/events.html, Facebook, and our email lists for members are the best ways to stay informed. When in doubt, you can also email me (see below).

Please let me know if you have more concerns. I'm happy to help, and always available to answer questions by email!

Cheers,
Lis Harvey
Communications Coordinator for the Davis Food Co-op
lisharvey@davisfood.coop


2012-08-07 00:41:31   Thank you Lis for the attention, and congratulations on your position! I'm glad to see the Co-op keeps track of social media sources and is responsive to commentary. This is a very positive sign.

I'm not entirely concerned with pointing fingers at cashiers and meant no harm. I've worked in retail and sales and understand that people are people and we're not always perfect. I'm not asking for an apology but thank you for offering one. I do appreciate the sentiment.

I'm excited to hear about all the new changes taking place, and thank you for outlining this information. I will be dropping in sometime soon for that membership.

I do want to reiterate that I think the Davis Food Co-op is awesome. I appreciate the hard work that all the members, volunteers and staff do. I truly believe in what the Co-op is doing, and I fully believe in supporting it. —MichelleKoehler



2013-01-31 16:41:31   Any chance of more wholegrain mustards at the deli? (Or even on the shelves would be nice!) Also is it possible to special-order unusual sizes of DFC promo clothing? Like XXXXL or more? I LOVE YOU GUYS! —AlexPearson


2013-10-12 17:40:13   I noticed Co-Op has improved on their prices and has some very good, lower prices now (for vegan food). Thanks! Thanks for carrying products of [WWW]http://sugarplumvegan.com/ too! They are very tasty. It seems the facts have turned around a little. Now Co-Op has better prices than Wholefood IMO. Keep up the good work, keep surprising us and stay sharp. —ConstantiaOomen


2013-10-13 13:59:55   You guys should become lottery retailers. If I could play my numbers while shopping here, my life would be complete! —StevenVeach


2013-11-20 14:19:32   Hi, I am looking to buy a handy tools I used to use in the Ozarks and they sold them thru our food buying club. It aids in opening up those (hard to open) 5 gallon buckets we all stored our bulk foods in. We used old drywall buckets, but coops sell them new sometimes. I don't want the buckets, I am looking for the simple wooden tool that pries those lids off. If anyone is familiar with these handy utensils and knows where I can buy one, could you let me know? —carylbrt


"2014-2-27-14 Strange days indeed. The General Manager is fired and no one concerned will say why—only that the Co-op is going off in a new direction!" —BrianKenyon


2014-09-12 12:27:55   I moved away from Davis in 2010 and just recently moved back. I have to say, I am really impressed with the improvements to the Davis Food Co-op. It looks great! I will be returning often. I appreciate your selection of vegetarian food and all-natural vitamins. —MarieKrug

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