2008-02-23 15:35:37 The number of health violations the co-op makes is disgusting. —NicoleBush
2008-02-23 16:19:54 Nicole, if you're going to make a claim like that you might as well back it up with some real examples and evidence. I'm not aware of any health codes being broken at the Co-op so you're not going to convince me by just telling me. —JasonDunne
2008-02-24 16:44:54 I'm talking about all the violations they make at the deli. Here's the link at the Yolo County Health Department. Current as of January.
Remember that most businesses have similar violations. The inspections generally find violations. Zero violations is like a student with a 4.0 average throughout their academic history... you can find them, but they are rare. Violations also don't mean that there are active health problems, only that there are potential ones. —jw
2008-03-09 18:54:02 Here's the Inspection Update information copied directly from the Yolo County Health Inspection website:
"The Co-op got a RED violation during a YCHI investigation instigated on January 16, 2008 as a result of a complaint about:
UTENSILS AND EQUIPMENT – CRITICAL VIOLATION DESCRIPTION:
UTENSILS AND EQUIPMENT NOT KEPT CLEAN, FULLY OPERATIVE, AND IN GOOD REPAIR. EQUIPMENT AND UTENSILS NOT STORED AND HANDLED IN A MANNER TO PREVENT CONTAMINATION. UTENSILS AND CONTAINERS NOT MADE OF APPROVED MATERIALS."
Inspections are based on regulations that are designed to eliminate risk factors for food borne disease.
Every violation of these regulations is color-coded indicating the degree of risk in causing a foodborne illness.
RED Violations: These are critical violations that pose an imminent risk to public health and may warrant immediate closure of the food establishment or immediate correction."
The Davis Food Co-op has had interactions with the Health Department on the dates listed on that web page, but we didn't have the violations listed on that site — those are examples of the types of things that represent those violations. We think it's confusing, and have asked them to rethink that feature, but they haven't changed it yet. Here's what our store manager says were the actual interactions:
01/16/2008 - COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION This was not a complaint from the public, it was me following procedures and calling in a reportable staff illness.
05/08/2007 - FOLLOW-UP INSPECTION This is the follow-up inspection that cleared our instances of non-compliance from 4/3/07.
04/03/2007 - ROUTINE-INSPECTION Again, when you follow the links the examples given are not conditions that existed at the Co-op, they are purely hypothetical examples. Here are the specifics & our corrections:
FD30: HOUSEKEEPING AND CONSTRUCTION – MINOR A small section of flooring next to the meat case was de-laminated. The floor was repaired.
FB25: FOOD STORAGE – CRITICAL The Health Department incorrectly listed this violation. We were actually out of compliance with FB21: Food Storage. Partially used bags and boxes of bulk products were closed but not stored in another container. We started storing partially used containers in plastic bags.
FA55: HAACP PLAN – CRITICAL Our sub-contractor Mermaid Sushi did not have a written HAACP plan. We helped the proprietor find a consultant to help him create compliant plan.
FD20: CLEANLINESS – MINOR The inspector found litter below shelving. We cleaned and then improved our routine maintenance program.
FD40: VECTOR CONTROL – MINOR The rear receiving door was left open, the inspector observed eight house flies inside the building. This situation was corrected during the inspection.
FA10: PREPARATION TIME & TEMPERATURE – MINOR The Health Department incorrectly listed this violation. We were actually out of compliance with FA 20: Cooling Procedures-Minor. We placed a hot item directly into a walk-in refrigerator. We re-trained our employees.
FC30: HANDWASHING EQUIPMENT – MINOR One handwashing sink was out of paper towels during the inspection. We refilled the towel dispenser.
FE40: LIGHTING AND VENTILATION – MINOR Two lights in food storage areas did not have plastic shields over the bulbs. We installed shields.
2008-03-07 02:01:32 The Co-Op has a great beer selection and they sell singles as reasonable prices (perfect for trying out new brews). I only shop at the Co-op for beer and bulk food/spices- everything else is overpriced. Their staff is also very friendly. —ScottStanley
2008-03-10 19:47:55 Re: "* FD30: HOUSEKEEPING AND CONSTRUCTION – MINOR A small section of flooring next to the meat case was de-laminated. The floor was repaired."
Hm, well, anybody walking in the G Street side front door of the Co-op might tend to notice the "de-linoleumed" stained concrete floor extending from the door inward for hundreds of square feet.
"Unrepaired" for months now.
2008-03-14 21:01:49 Wonderful staff!!! —ClaireB
All that proofreading, and it still slipped through without the intended answer. My apologies —DougWalter; here's the answer that should have been printed:
During a windstorm last fall (November 2007) that big yellow “O” s blew off the roof and was smashed into smithereens. When we got the replacement we were all surprised at how much the original color had mellowed over time. I promise we are committed to delivering high quality food without mysticism or arcane symbolism. — Beth Tausczik, Store Manager
2008-05-08 21:09:38 So I go to get dinner and I saw the most offensive sign ever on this car. It says, "Professional Abortionist: A Cut Above the Rest." Even I was offended. Then I realized it said "arborist," but I am so unfamiliar with the term "arborist" that I thought it said abortionist. That explains why it had the little symbol of a tree by it. Public education failed me. :-( —Casey
2008-05-18 00:36:11 A real godsend. I mean, they have 5 kinds of Ezekiel bread! Some people may find the food to be a little pricey, but it's actually cheaper for students to go there than the Farmer's Market every Saturday, where they tend to overcharge a bit (so I remember. I may be wrong, but I just remember noticing that it was a bit cheaper than buying the flavored Santa Fe tortillas at the co-op). —eda
You're definitely right, eda. I do most of my shopping at the Co-op and the Farmer's Market. You're generally paying a premium at Farmer's Market (which is often worth it), but if you compare things like Vega eggs (which are great), the same eggs by local purveyor Vega are quite a bit cheaper at the Co-op. —ScottLay
2008-05-24 21:38:10 Whether or Not to Create a West Davis Store & "What Our Sustainable Vision Statement Should Encompass":
I joined the cooperative movement in 1974. I've belonged to dozens of coops all over America. I was an Owner/Worker/Member at Sacramento Natural Foods Coop, but jumped ship, escaped and cancelled my membership in 2007. (In 15 yrs. I cancelled my membership with SNFC 3 times!) My membership cancellation at SNFC had nothing to do with the Elk Grove store fiasco - but everything to do with a self-destructive, cognitive disconnect created by staff & management at SNFC. I realized all I could do is to treat those folks with compassionate, benevolent indifference and disengage.
I am SO relieved to be a member of DFC. I sense this coop has some problems, but vast potential to work things out in a positive, compassionate and tolerant manner. I attended the May, 2008 Annual Meeting in the park and was impressed by genuine civility, gentility and thoughtfulness of current Board Members and folks running for the Board when they made their official speech/private statements to the membership.
Clearly, some folks are PASSIONATE about their stance, and many differing opinions regarding the future of DFC exist - but the vibe I received from the Annual Meeting, May, 2008 was a paradigm of "In The Words of Rodney King, Can't We All Just Get Along?" I don't quite understand the entire history of DFC and the pro's and con's of various factions in this group, but compared to SNFC - DFC is a room full of great, big fluffy pillows and nicer than a litter of cuddly puppies! I got a strong message from the Annual Meeting that folks are willing to put aside their personal, ideological differences in a spirit of good will for the betterment of the planet, the community and our coop.
Unlike my experience at SNFC, when I shop in the DFC coop, I am given a message of "welcome" by the staff who are superlative, friendly and quite professional. I read some of the posts from other DFC shoppers about problems they had with DFC staff, but I hope folks understand every bin has a few rotten apples. The entire staff of DFC shouldn't be judged by the behavior of a few knuckleheads. At SNFC, a considerable percentage of the staff and many Boards Member's are surly and openly hostile to members/shoppers. The staff at SNFC which is professional, service oriented and has a great attitude is encouraged to quit in disgust and seek employment elsewhere. At SNFC, as a Member/Worker/Owner/Shopper, the best way to get "targeted" and branded a "troublemaker" was to attend Board meetings during the portion where members are allegedly "invited". Making too many constructive criticism comments would get you on the "shit list" with SNFC staff and Board Members. Politely pointing out issues which needed correction was also another way to "circle the drain" at SNFC." As of Spring, 2008 SNFC has an abysmally out of touch board, an apathetic membership and the "corporate culture" of SNFC is to "Nuggetize" it and focus on "capturing market share". Huge staff turnover and many millions in debt still to be paid off from the Elk Grove catastrophe are just a few of SNFC's problems. During last year's SNFC Board Election, the vast majority of Board incumbents were booted out of office in a landslide by disgruntled Member Voters - but still, the Board at SNFC just does not "get it".
Whatever the internal management problems there are at DFC, they are inconsequential compared to SNFC which needs a Fung Shui/Exorcism!
Let us continue to work together in good faith to improve DFC and make it an exemplerary community resource.
Here is my two cents on DFC expansion into West Davis with a new store. Modernize, remodel - FINE. But do not build a new store!
In the 34 years I've belonged to the coop movement - every single, darn coop I ever belonged to which expanded went BUST. I was a Berkeley coop member when it tanked. I also belonged to Uncommon Market in Arlington, Virginia (suburb of Washington, D.C.) in the 1990's when it nearly went bankrput when they expanded. I was against SNFC building the Elk Grove store......we all know what happened there. If DFC members are gung-ho on a West Davis store being built, I strongly advise - well, go right ahead - but make it a completely separate entity, with their own Board of Directors, their own management team, their own FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY to repay financiers/lenders. DFC could help "sprout" a "Sister Coop" which is legally a completely separate entity and therefore, carry zero financial burden on DFC if the new West Davis store tanks. Please do not jeopardize the existing store by tying it into the potential failure of a new West Davis store. We need to further explore the offer of free rent, and a free building in West Davis. That sounds like a sweet idea!
Why did DFC Board borrow millions from Union Bank, a transnational corporate cartel to remodel the existing store? Why weren't funds RAISED in ADVANCE of the remodelling through donations, grants and creative fundraising such as parties, community events? Why didn't the Board go to the Membership and ask for folks to invest in stock for remodelling instead of borrowing money from Union Bank? It is my understanding Union Bank is a foreign owned cartel. Why didn't DFC instead go to the National Cooperative Bank instead of Union Bank? Union Bank is fairly nefarious and tied into Bretton Woods Organizations, Bildenberg Group, WTO, Commonwealth Club, Bohemian Grove Club, the crypto-fascists...blah, blah, blah....you all know the drill. If we speak about "Sustainability" we need to do more than "Greenwashing" and refrain from being Radical Chic nincompoops. Let us walk the walk - not just talk the talk in our "Gourmet Golden Ghetto." This is a HUGE problem I have with what allegedly passes for um, ahem, er, ahhh, the
so-called - "Progressive Movement" - the Berkeley/West L.A./Wine Country White Middle Class, Intelligentsia, Coffeehouse Radical types. I do not make these comments pejoratively, but am just raising the issue for exploration.
Regarding "Patronage Refunds" at the end of the year. For the most part, the vast majority of shoppers at DFC are affluent, middle class and lower middle class. Even the poorest of the poor in Davis have the basics - food, clothing, shelter. I recommend we use monies accrued from "Patronage Refunds" and use that to bring finest quality, organic natural foods to a neighboring community which is poverty level. Particularly addressing the needs of the rural poor in Woodland/Capay Valley. We could set up a food donation program liasing with Woodland/Capay Valley WIC and Food Stamp program by donating organic food to needy families, working poor, disabled, elderly and HUD Section 8 tenants. Not just a "band aid" solution like giving gifts of organic food - but helping poverty level and working poor folks in Woodland/Capay Valley with tithes of organic seeds, gardening tools, sustainable ag soil ammendments so they could GROW their own food in community gardens. DFC volunteers could do pro bono work accruing Member Hours and teach Permaculture/Biodynamics/Sustainable Ag to low income folks in a neighborhoring rural poor area.
DFC is a rockin' cool organization - but most of what we do is "preaching to the choir". We need to do more service and outreach to marginalized, under served communities - the folks nobody give a tinkers damn about.
At the May, 2008 Annual Meeting was a display with "DFC Values" posted for members to give feedback. Here is my two cents:
The reason why SNFC has such a major malaise - what led to the grandiose, misguided decision to build the Elk Grove store was fear based thinking and obsession with capturing "Market Share" - the "Nuggetization" of SNFC and the "Wal-Mart-ization" of SNFC. In 1995 when Wild Oats Market opened in Carmichael (suburb of Sacto) the SNFC Board started hyperventilating, shaking in their shoes convinced Wild Oats Market would put SNFC out of business at worst - and at best, significantly cut into profit margins. A plethora of hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, fear based rhetoric emanated from the SNFC Board. This was when the big push to build a new store really took off. After less than 2 years, Wild Oats Market in Carmichael went bankrupt and closed, sold to Whole Foods due to John McKay secretly making defamatory, slanderous and libelous statements under a fictitious screen name in online blogs. John McKay succeeded in trashing Wild Oats perception in the stock market. John McKay was able to lower the price of Wild Oats stock and bought up that company via a "hostile takeover." John McKay was subsequently fined by the Federal Trade Commission, but was not arrested and served no jail time for his hijinks. Despite the opening of Wild Oats and Whole Foods Market in Sacramento, SNFC was still making BIG profits. Wild Oats didn't make a dent into SNFC's fiscal health. SNFC Board still forged ahead with fear based thinking believing the opening of Whole Foods in Arden Arcade would hammer us. Whole Foods Market in Arden has been around for several years and no harm was done to SNFC's profit margins. Still the SNFC board was gung-ho on building the Elk Grove store, because they were CONVINCED Whole Foods would run them out of business.
The prevailaing philosophy governing SNFC's Board and fossilized Senior Management is wholly focused on "CAPTURING MARKET SHARE" and a holy terror about competition from Nugget, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Big Box corporate retailers selling fake/faux organics. SNFC wants to mirror Whole Foods with a "boutique" type store with charcuterie, upscale gourmet trendy goodies, a bakery case full of white flour/white sugar goodies, fresh flowers, groovy hip knicknacks and "Nuggetize" SNFC. SNFC's Board completely LOST TOUCH with the core principles of what the cooperative movement is supposed to represent - namely, getting "off the grid", parity, fellowship, community building, a democratic workplace and an agora for the hoi polloi - serving the great unwashed, the minions, the proles - supporting indie organic farmers/ranchers whilst simultaneously serving Pangea Gaia Mother Earth and Father Sky.
SNFC is convinced they must "compete" with Nugget, Whole Foods, Safeway/Target/Wal-Mart and all the other "big box" vendors of quasi-faux organic food. What SNFC forgot is when the Membership is truly served - shoppers will gladly pay slightly higher prices and retain LOYALTY to their coop because the food CAN BE TRUSTED to be organic - and most important, by shopping at a coop, you are contributing to alternative economic infrastructure and parity for indie, small family farmers/ranchers. SNFC membership dropped from approximately 11,000 members to around 4,700 after Elk Grove closed in January, 2008. Although SNFC runs membership drives and garners new members - a larger percentage of former SNFC members cancel their shares and jump ship, choosing to shop elsewhere and disengage. SNFC also has quite high turnover with veteran staffers leaving. SNFC is currently losing membership by a margin of 3 to 1. For every new member who joins - 2 existing members cancel. Every coop has membership fluctuations but currently at Montly Board Meetings open to Members to show up and participate - approximately 15 or so members show up - from a pool of approximately 4,700 current members. Tasty free snacks, organic refreshments, gift certificates, raffle prizes cannot induce an apathetic membership to show up in large numbers at SNFC Board Meetings.
I've been eating organic since 1968 and began working in the organic foods industry in the early 1980's. I'm old enough to remember when 100% of the organic foods industry was owned/operated by small, family owned, indie manufacturers and farmers. In the early 1990's we LOST our industry to transnational, corporate cartel agribusiness hegemony. What the SNFC Board & Mgmt. failed to understand is "trying to compete" with Whole Foods, Trader Joes is pointless. We cannot "compete" with the hegemony of the "Big Boys" - instead, we need to offer the public something altogether different from what the "Big Boys" have - namely, COMMUNITY BUILDING and AUTONOMY - also "food you can trust." Does anyone with a pulse really believe that "O" Brand which Safeway sells is organic? Does anyone dumber than a sack of hammers shop at Trader Joe's/Whole Foods really TRUST that food is safe to eat?
Instead of engaging in fear based concerns about "Capturing Market Share" which led to SNFC's fiasco in Elk Grove - we need to address a more diligent merchandising policy at DFC. Why are we selling Coca-Cola for cryin' out loud? Coca-Cola is crypto-fascist. There is a LOT of poor quality junk food sold at DFC which is manufactured by transnational corporate cartel cabals. WHY is it being sold at DFC? It will rattle the cage of those shoppers who want Coca-Cola and transnational corporate cartel junk food if we drop those items - so let us politely, but firmly instruct them to buy that crap at their nearest 7/11 or supermarket. We would not be denying ANYONE of their desire to purchase those dubious, nefarious products. Let them purchase those items elsewhere if they wish to be trash-ified and toxified.
Nothing is sustainable about selling bottled water in plastic. The same goes for selling huge quantities of organic red meat/beef/pork. I respectfully suggest we ban sales of bottled water in plastic, and install a larger area for bulk purified water, with glass/stainless steel containers for folks to use. We can conduct a public education campaign encouraging folks to bring empty containers to carry home bulk water purchased at DFC. I am not vegan (I was for 28 yrs. but quit). I don't advocate TOTALLY banning sales of organic beef/pork - but we could reduce the amount we sell by 75%, and create huge reduction in carbon footprints.
DFC could help support a local sustainable rancher to create a brand new PERMACULTURE RABBIT RANCHING operation. Rabbit meat is widely popular in most countries globally, yet disdained in America - primarily due to ignorance, fear of the "unknown" and cultural relativism. Rabbit meat is quite low in cholesterol, high in Omega 3,6,9, high protein with very little fat, provides fur and the bones can be used to make artwork/crafts - or composted into fertilzer when dried and run thru a "chipper". We could also explore sponsoring INSECTIARIES and investigate setting up a coop venture to raise edible insect ranching for "low on the food chain", quite tasty gourmet protein. 90% of the world eats insects for protein. It is merely cultural relativism and pre-conditioned programming which makes us disdain the notion of eating insects for protein. Properly cultivated and well prepared insects are quite tasty, hygenic and health to eat! I've seen insects cooked on "Food Channel" and it looked yummy!
At the Annual Meeting in May, 2008 an eloquent, visionary young man in his 20's who works at DFC is running for the Board. I forgot his name, but was quite impressed with his speech - he said "ETHICS" before "PROFTIS AND EXPANSION" should be the guiding force behind DFC. I spoke with him in private after his speech. He agreed part of sustainability is a coop which is financially healthy with good cash flow. He wasn't advocating losing profits - but instead, examining with far greater scrutinity DFC's Merchandising Policy.
We need to do some "house cleaning" regarding what is sold at DFC and also judiciously examine the option to help "sprout" a new West Davis coop, while insuring that store is not legally and financially tied to the existing DFC. A "sister coop" or "cousin coop" is a far more prudent idea than hitching our star to a new store that might go BUST and take us down with it. SNFC was forced to sell their two story office building to keep the Midtown store open - I think (?) but I'm not sure, they might have also been forced to sell the house on Alhambra which was converted into office space to keep Midtown store open. Elk Grove drained many millions in equity from SNFC. I'm not sure exactly how much - maybe $20 to $20 million? Who knows? There was a lack of "fiscal transparency". I tried to connect the dots insofar as to how much money was lost by SNFC - but the Board and General Mgr. kept that info from wide circulation.
Let us work together in a spirit of good faith and tolerance to work out our problems at DFC and build a stronger future.
2008-05-27 14:05:23 Good grief. I can't believe I just wasted 15 minutes reading that drivel. btw, it's "insectary," not "insectiary." —NotSure
I neither agree nor have grounds or knowledge enough to disagree with much of Grailmaiden's concerns, but I admire her willingness to speak out. Some of what she says self-evidently in the right. She's correct to point out that pre-bottled plastic containers, among other things, are in need of reform or replacement with biodegradable alternatives. If more of us spoke out without resorting to ad hominem, peremptory, reactionary, or unconstructive dismissals—e.g., "What an idiot!", "You're so wrong!", "That's just drivel"—then we'd all stand to gain from sharing our concerns with one another. Cultural evolution starts with constructive criticism, and constructive criticism necessitates proposition-based arguments, not psychological caricature. —ZN
2008-05-31 14:51:00 "As a general practice, I am not willing to give critics of any practice or policy a platform to speak at the annual meeting." - Darius Pazirandeh, President, Davis Food Co-op. June 2008 Co-op Newsletter, page 11. —aharjala
2008-06-03 18:32:00 That does come across as a very provocative quote when you take it out of context like that, yes. —AlexPearson
2008-06-08 03:59:13 Is This a Moderated or Unmoderated Forum? "Flame Bait" was posted by Online Troll - In response to my 5/27/08 post. On 5/28/08 "Not Sure" posted what appears to be a rather snotty "Flame Bait" remark which violates Netiquette and basic civility. Instead of addressing issues he could constructively criticize regarding valid issues I addressed in my post, he just posted a rude response and in a very petty manner, bashed me for a tiny spelling error. If there is a Moderator on this forum, can a warning be issued to "Not Sure"? His kind of hyperbole is neither helpful, nor indicative of the principles of the international cooperative movement. When "Flame Wars" and "Flame Bait" are posted, it discourages other people from posting - instead they just "lurk" and read posts, but don't participate in the forum with posts of their own. I've been online for 7 years. I've noticed just one bad apple "Online Troll" can destroy an entire forum and drive members off the board. I am brand new to the forum - so I'd appreciate intervention from the forum Moderator. If this is an Unmoderated Forum, I need to know.
Thanks so much! Grailmaiden
Below is "Not Sure" post:
2008-05-27 14:05:23 Good grief. I can't believe I just wasted 15 minutes reading that drivel. btw, it's "insectary," not "insectiary." —NotSure —grailmaiden
It's unmoderated, but regular Davis Wiki folk do take care to edit out egregiously inappropriate material. I've even edited out my own moments of fallibility. I'd say in this case you shouldn't worry—you had your say, someone reacted, someone (me) defended, and that's pretty par for the course. But if you're unhappy with the state of things, just edit out what you feel is appropriate, within reason, and things will sort themselves out. You can be your own moderator :) —ZN
Mr./Ms.maiden: This is not a forum at all, although at times it does sort of look that way. It is not moderated in the normal sense of the word as there are not specific individuals that moderate. This is a wiki where essentially everyone is a moderator and moderation is through consensus of all the editors that care to weigh in. The "principles of the international cooperative movement" don't specifically have anything to do with the wiki - this is not a cooperative website per se. Things are quite gentle here, in my opinion. Perhaps you should HTFU. -Martin King
2008-06-08 15:39:21 Unmoderated. "Everyone can edit this website!" —DonShor
In response to the fellow who complianed about the coop being "over priced". Why don't you check out Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck)? You will discover their prices are at least 40% to 50% higher than the Davis Coop, Sacramento Coop - and phenomenally more expensive than any local farmers market. The prices at the Davis Coop are in line with any other local natural food store. BTW - I've been eating organic since 1968. I feel confident about knowing the prevailing prices for natural/organic food. Insofar as to shopping at Wal Mart - their alleged "organic food" they sell cannot be trusted. That QAI Quality Assurance International label & USDA organic label is next to worthless. At least at the coop they sell local, indie, family farmer produce which is CCOF certified. 100% of Wal-Mart's alleged "organic" produce is shipped from China, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and creates a humoungous carbon footprint and global warming gases to air freight or container ship produce from Third World countries to the USA. If you want to pinch pennies, shop at Trader Joes - but their "organic food" is highly dubious - their fresh green edamame soybeans are irradiated, bleached for shelf life longevity and GMO but not labelled as such. Trader Joe's organic produce is 100% shipped from foreign countries - so the chain of control insofar as to the authenticity of it really being organic is highly dubious. I like the Davis Coop and think the prices are the norm for the natural foods industry. —Grailmaiden
2008-07-07 16:19:31 "Of COURSE someone called JimBob is inaccurate & negative! DougWalter" (Because we can tell everything by a fake name — this is a satiric comment, not an elitist one. Or is the use of satire prima facie evidence of elitism?)
"How inaccurate: in most parts of North America, Dixon would be called nearby (if not "freeway-close") and the "Supercenter" has been open there for years. —DougWalter"
It is this elitist attitude, along with the Co-op's always high prices all of the time (and always decreasing selection of food at the expense of high-end knick knacks) that is turning many people away from the Co-op. If there were another grocery store within walking distance of downtown, I would rarely have a reason to have to deal with going to the Co-op. If the powers-that-be at the Co-op would set aside their holier-than-thou self-righteousness for a second and listen to people like JimBob, they might realize that the Co-op only continues to survive becasue it is the only grocery store not on the edge of town. The Co-op would have a hard time surviving if it actually had competition for the center-city market. Between the high prices, the increasingly scant selection of food in comparison to knick knacks, and the elitist attitude- the Co-op would not last very long if folks had another place to buy their groceries near downtown.
I will plead guilty to feeling slightly better/"holier" than someone who uses a fake name (JimBob) on the Wiki. S/he may turn out to be a real contributor to this wiki, but I got the impression of someone on a spree of negative comments. In this case, negative and inaccurate: there certainly is competition out there! DougWalter
[2008-07-08 21:27:01 —Since the extensive remodel began, the prices have risen through the roof for many staples. Also the patronage payments to members have disappeared. Did the Co-op negotiate the best possible financing for the remodel? WilyFerret
The prices of staple foods are rising world-wide, as a look at the news will show. (Here's one link about an important & complex subject.) I believe that's the cause for what you note. The markup on foods at the Co-op has not changed.
It was well-disclosed ahead of the renovation that the patronage refund system wasn't going to change, and there should be positive cash-flow during the project but there would be no profits for a period due to depreciation on lots of new equipment. So the payments to members have "disappeared" for last fiscal year and this current one; the former was prudence by the Board and the latter will be because there's no real chance of profits to refund. If sales continue to be strong (and prices don't go out of whack relative to the competition) then patronage refunds could resume in a time that'll be short, relative to the length of the loan.
As to the negotiating "the best possible financing," there's a whole Wiki page in which some users attack the Co-op because the Board opted for financing that was thousands of dollars cheaper over the life of the loan but was from a foreign-owned bank. I guess you can define "best possible financing" in several ways. (I don't think it's unreasonable that there are different ideas about what's best, with 8,500 shareholders.) DougWalter
2008-07-10 12:28:01 I've pointed out ways that the Co-op fails in these comments, so it is only fair that I point out ways that it succeeds. It continues to have the best selection and prices for milk and yogurt in town. The beer and wine selection is above average as well. The folks who work at the meat counter are friendly, efficient, and knowledgable - and they make darn good sausage. —aharjala
Actually, unless I'm very much mistaken, the Nugget also makes their own sausages. I can't comment on the quality of the Coop's sausages, but Nugget always has good ones with all manner of flavors. - JoePomidor
2008-07-15 11:52:08 Wide variety of unusual foods. Nice place to visit, at least once, to at least know what is there. However, I will continue to shop at more mainstream markets like Nugget! —slt
2008-07-29 01:35:51 My main issue with the coop is the service at the deli. Mostly they ignore me stand around twiddle their thumbs serving all the employees first so they can get on their breaks quicker. I go on my lunch breaks to get something to eat so I don't have time for them to ignore me just because I am not wearing some hippy clothing or tatted up (who knows why they don't want to help anyone), not that this issue should even matter to them I am a paying customer so help the customers. I mean it isn't called customer service for no reason at all. —csmith
2008-08-16 15:04:49 The Co-op is a asset to Davis. Having fresh, local & organic food at our doorstep is fantastic. I love the HABA section and have had nothing but wonderful customer service there. The deli is hit or miss with being helpful & fast. Brad, a checker is my daughters favorite & he is so sweet to her. We love the kids coloring station and always enjoy shopping here. —jwendt
2008-08-29 22:46:51 I must say that I love the food here, especially in the bakery. The produce is also excellent, and I don't have to worry about pesticides here, which is nice. I don't know about the experiences related below but I have never had a problem with employees or volunteers (though I don't spend much time in the deli). The one exception to this is the night manager, Yolanda. She loves going on power trips - my most recent run in came as I was trying to buy one pack of tortillas right at closing time and she quite rudely showed me the door. A little respect would have been nice. Oh well, there's always a few bad apples in even the nicest apple barrel. —rrignacio
2008-09-06 07:36:32 The coop has the BEST produce department. Yesterday I picked up some fresh black eyed peas (still in the pod), they've had peppers de padron for a lot of the summer, and while I don't know if I'm ready to try it quite yet they even have that corn fungus that's used in some Mexican dishes.
They do need to start ordering more Urban Detox drinks because they're always out, but doing without is a price I'm willing to pay! —AmandaGarrison
2008-09-07 17:42:59 Does the Co-op sell multivitamins and other supplements? —pvalencia
Goodness, yes! There are a number of different brands and (often) sizes. —DougWalter
2008-09-22 10:31:49 The Food Co-op does sell Braun coffee grinders, just below the Caffe Ibis fair trade roasted beans & just above the Newman's Own Organic prunes. Sorry I misinformed someone on the phone! —DougWalter
2008-11-21 20:43:15 I mainly go the coop to get bread, pasta, fair trade bananas, and "ethical" meat. Their selection of bread is huge and contains many local CA brands. Their bread section also contains local Indian naans and tortillas. They have a wide variety of dried pasta but I mainly go for the fresh pasta. I think fresh pasta tastes so much better and cooks a lot faster than dried pastas. The co op is the only grocery store in Davis that I know of that sells fair trade bananas. The coop's meat section contains a lot of meat that advertises itself as humane and non chemicals but costs a lot more than industrial livestock. If you don't believe in local and organic produce, you are not going to like the coop because the coop attracts a lot of the slow food movement types (which is kind of an elitist movement). —justinhu
2008-11-24 17:23:20 Anyone else bothered by how ridiculously cold it has been inside of the co-op lately? I am about to go down there and I will be wearing two jackets. —Chantal
2008-11-25 20:22:57 The only place in town that sells cavatappi pasta, though its the mini kind...wtf? Is Davis anti-cavatappi? And why only the mini kind? I want the standard sized cavatappi!!! —SunjeetBaadkar